05:20 GMT30 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump's claims about the upcoming reduction in US military presence in Afghanistan are likely mere pre-election rhetoric, Zamir Kabulov, Russia's special presidential adviser and the head of the Foreign Ministry's Second Asian Department, told Sputnik on Thursday.

    "This looks like pre-election rhetoric, Trump most likely wants to show his voters that he fulfils the previous pre-election promises," Kabulov said.

    The Russian diplomat expressed the belief that American military presence was not in fact contributing to the improvement of the situation on the ground.

    U.S. troops stand guard during a handover ceremony of A-29 Super Tucano planes from U.S. to the Afghan forces, in Kabul, Afghanistan September 17, 2020
    © REUTERS / OMAR SOBHANI
    U.S. troops stand guard during a handover ceremony of A-29 Super Tucano planes from U.S. to the Afghan forces, in Kabul, Afghanistan September 17, 2020
    "There is no problem with that. Does their presence make any sense? Has the situation on the ground improved? It has only degraded," Kabulov went on to say.

    Earlier in the day, Trump pledged that the remaining US servicemen should be withdrawn from Afghanistan by Christmas.

    Last month, David Helvey, the assistant secretary of defence for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security that all US servicemen could be withdrawn from the country by May 2021 if the US-Taliban deal is implemented successfully.

    Tags:
    US troop withdrawal, troops withdrawal, troop withdrawal, US withdrawal, Afghanistan War, Afghanistan, Donald Trump, Russia, US
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