Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday called for President Donald Trump to clarify comments he made earlier this week saying Afghanistan would be “wiped off the face of the Earth” if the United States chose to put an end to the war there.
Ghani’s office said the country wouldn’t “allow any foreign power to determine its fate” after Trump’s remarks Monday during an Oval Office meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week,” Trump told reporters during the meeting. “I just don’t want to kill 10 million people.
“I have plans on Afghanistan, that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth. It would be gone. It would be over in — literally, in 10 days, and I don’t want to do — I don’t want to go that route.”
Khan called for a diplomatic solution to the war in Afghanistan, a peace deal between the government and the Taliban.
Ghani said the Afghan government supports U.S. efforts to instill peace in Afghanistan, but said foreign governments can’t determine the country’s fate.
“Given the multifaceted relationship between Afghanistan and the United States, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan calls for clarification on the U.S. President’s statements expressed at a meeting with the Pakistan prime minister, via diplomatic means and channels,” his office said.
The war in Afghanistan began in 2001, when a U.S.-led coalition drove the Taliban out of power. The United States is still involved in the conflict, attempting to broker a peace deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban. It is the longest war in U.S. history.