Trump studying options for new South Asia strategy: White House

Washington: US President Donald Trump is “studying and considering his options” for a new strategy to protect the American interest in South Asia, the White House said today after a meeting of Trump with his top national security aides.

The President would take a final decision on this at an appropriate time, it said, without divulging the details of the meeting.

South Asia strategy primarily means the policy in Afghanistan, but the Trump administration feels that the wartorn country needs a regional approach to resolve the decades old problem.

“The President is studying and considering his options and will make an announcement to the American people, to our allies and partners, and to the world at the appropriate time,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement after Trump received the briefing from his national security team at the rustic presidential retreat Camp David.

Besides the National Security Adviser Lt Gen H R McMaster, the meeting was attended by Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of national Intelligence Daniel Coats, and President’s top Adviser on South Asia Lisa Curtis.

Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffand and US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, attended the meeting through a secured video conference.

The administration has said its Afghanistan strategy will be informed by a review of its approach to the broader region, including Pakistan and India.