Saudi visit: Trump to discuss extremism in Afghanistan, Pakistan with Muslim leaders

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump will discuss steps to continue the fight against the ISIS and extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan as he addresses the Muslim world during his visit to Saudi Arabia this week.

The discussion on extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan would come up as a part of the larger debate within the Islamic world, and specifically to this part of the world, a senior Trump administration official said on the condition of anonymity yesterday.

“So the general problem of extremism, which is the same problem in Mosul as it is in Afghanistan and to some degree in Pakistan. That’s the issue we are trying to deal with, which is extremism. So it will be something that will be discussed,” the official said.

Leaders of more than 50 mostly-Muslim countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan from India’s neighbourhood, are scheduled to attend the meeting convened by Saudi Arabia over the weekend.
The official was responding to a question about the US governments plans to deal with extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“I believe the leader of Afghanistan and the leader of Pakistan will both be at the Summit, which is excellent, the official said.

Although, Riyadh has not yet confirmed a separate bilateral talk between Trump and either of the two leaders — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The extremism issue would also figure for discussion during Trump’s participation at the NATO summit in Brussels.

The Trump Administration is in final stage of formulating its Afghanistan-Pakistan policy which among other things would decide on the number of troops to be deployed in Afghanistan.

The final decision in this regard would be taken by the generals on the ground.