Abdullah criticizes Trump’s stance on early troop withdrawal

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KABUL: The Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Abdullah Abdullah says the US has given the Taliban the upper hand in the ongoing negotiations by announcing an early withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.


Talking to an interview with Financial Times, Abdullah said that there were still confusions over the US forces’ reduction in Afghanistan.


He said that no US official had given any clarity about the exact timeline for the US forces’ withdrawal, raising apprehensions that the Taliban may return by force if the US left the war-torn country.


Abdullah’s remarks on US troops’ withdrawal come following a tweet by US President Donald Trump that said all US troops in Afghanistan “should” be home by Christmas, months earlier from the timeline of the US-Taliban agreement signed in February.


However, the US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, later said that the number of US troops would be reduced to 2,500 by early 2021.


Based on the US-Taliban agreement, all the US and its allies’ troops will leave Afghanistan within 14 months from the time the deal is signed – coinciding with May 2021.