Russia Hails Reported US Troop Reduction Plan in Afghanistan


Russia  hailed U.S. plans to pull some troops from Afghanistan as “a step in the right direction” but cast doubt on whether Washington really intends to do so.Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharovav told reporters in Moscow Wednesday that the potential military drawdown could boost renewed efforts aimed at finding a negotiated end to the war between the U.S.-backed Afghan government and the Taliban.“We have also noted a statement by the U.S. leadership about the upcoming withdrawal of up to 50 percent of the U.S. forces from Afghanistan. We consider this a step in the right direction, capable of bringing the start of the peace process close,” she said.Officials in Washington last week were quoted in media reports as saying that President Donald Trump has verbally ordered military commanders to withdraw 7,000 of the more than 14,000 troops currently stationed in Afghanistan. The drawdown reportedly could begin as early as next month but neither the White House nor the Pentagon has commented on the reports...................

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