14:49 GMT28 October 2020
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    US President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox News that aired on Monday that Washington would leave a "strong" intelligence presence in Afghanistan even after US troops depart, dubbing the country a "Harvard for terrorists".

    "We will be leaving very strong intelligence, far more than you would normally think [...] It just seems to be a lab for terrorists... I call it the Harvard of terrorists", Trump said.

    The news comes amid ongoing Taliban-US peace talks entering their third day in the Qatari capital of Doha.

    The United States has said that it seeks a comprehensive deal that includes a permanent ceasefire and intra-Afghan talks. The Taliban has said they do not want to discuss intra-Afghan talks and a ceasefire with the United States.

    The Taliban and the United States are trying to reach a peace deal that would include the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and assurances from the Taliban that the country will not be used as a safe haven for terrorists.

    In the meantime, NATO's Resolute Support Mission, aimed at providing training and assistance to Afghan security forces which continue to fight rebel and terrorist groups operating in the country, continues to support Kabul.

    Around 17,000 military personnel from 39 NATO member states are currently stationed in Afghanistan as part of the mission.

    In June, Trump vowed in an interview with Time magazine that the US will soon see its troop complement in the Afghanistan halved to some 8,000 soldiers.

    Afghanistan has long suffered unstable security. The government has been fighting the Taliban, which has been waging a war against Kabul for almost two decades, as well as the Daesh terrorist group, which has reportedly been operating in Afghanistan since 2015.

    *The Taliban, Daesh (IS, ISIS, ISIL) are terrorist groups banned in Russia and many other countries.


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    troops withdrawal, intelligence, Afghanistan, Donald Trump
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