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PRESS RELEASE


Russia Regrets New U.S. Afghan Strategy; Calls It a Quest for ‘Military Solution’

Aug. 24, 2017 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said today that Russia regrets that the new U.S. Afghanistan Strategy aims for a military solution and does not reflect the threat the Islamic State terror group poses, TASS reported today.

"We have noticed that the new Afghanistan strategy, announced by U.S. President Donald Trump on August 21, focuses on the search for a military solution to the Afghan issue, particularly through increasing the number of foreign troops,"

she said. "It is regrettable that the strategy does not properly reflect the threat that the Afghan branch of the ISIL terror group poses," Zakharova added, TASS reported.

It should be noted that Secretary Tillerson, in his press conference Tuesday explaining the new policy, explicitly stated that there were no military solution, either for the Taliban or for the Afghan government (with U.S. backing). He said the policy is to bring about a negotiation, and that the U.S. is ready to support negotiations without preconditions.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, TASS reported today, has also expressed his reservations about the U.S. Afghan strategy laid out by President Trump on Aug 22. Lavrov believes that the use of force in settling the Afghan crisis is self-defeating: "The new strategy proclaimed by Washington focuses on the use of power methods," Russia’s top diplomat noted. "We are confident that this path is futile."

Lavrov also pointed out that Russia hopes it will be possible to clarify Washington’s stance on the possibility of contacts with the Taliban without any preconditions, TASS reported.

"If I got the new U.S. strategy right, they admit contacts with the Taliban without fulfilling any conditions by them. I do not think this is in line with our common interest to abide by the agreed line, which has been endorsed by the UN. I hope, however, that we will be able to clarify this seeming contradiction during contacts with our U.S. counterparts at the expert level,"

he said.