Afghan-US ties to further improve under Trump: Kabul

Kabul, Jan 19 (IANS) Afghanistan has strategic ties with the US and, under the new government, relations between Washington and Kabul will further improve, the Afghan chief presidential spokesman said on Thursday.

“Afghanistan has strategic and firm relations with the US. We are confident that Afghanistan’s ties with the US will further strengthen under the new US administration,” Mohammad Haroon Chakhansori told a press briefing.

In 2012, Afghan former President Hamid Karzai and outgoing US President Barack Obama signed a strategic deal in Kabul and Obama declared Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally of the US.

Chakhansori said that Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and US President-elect Donald Trump had already discussed relations between the two countries and exchanged views on different topics during a recent telephone conversation.

On Wednesday night, Ghani and Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah offered their farewell to Obama in a phone call, the Afghan Presidential Palace said earlier on Thursday.

“President Ghani appreciated continuous cooperation of the US in the eight-year tenure of President Obama, whose strategic decisions played a key role in the fight against terrorism and development of Afghanistan,” it said in a statement.

Ghani told Obama that “your role in establishing strategic relations between the two nations has founded fundamental partnerships, which will remain strong for decades. Therefore the people of Afghanistan appreciate and will always remember your leadership in this regard.”

President Ghani also wished Obama and his family success in their future endeavours, the statement noted.