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Tuesday September 17th, 2019 2:37AM

The Latest: US diplomat warns Afghan gov't it has much to do

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and US policy in Afghanistan (all times local):

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6:30 a.m.

The top U.S. diplomat in Kabul says President Donald Trump made it clear that the U.S. "is not going anywhere," while at the same time warning the Afghan government that it too has much to do if stability is to come to Afghanistan.

Special Charge d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy Ambassador Hugo Llorens in a statement Tuesday urged the Afghan government to deal with widespread corruption, make good on a promise to hold parliamentary polls next year and enact tough economic reforms.

He also called on Afghanistan's leadership to shed its ethnic differences and embrace each other.

Llorens said the U.S. will also "maintain pressure on the Taliban to join a peace process with the Afghan government to end the war in Afghanistan."

Trump has yet to appoint an ambassador to Afghanistan, making Llorens the top U.S. diplomat in the country.

6:00 a.m.

China is defending its close ally Pakistan following comments by President Donald Trump that the country was not doing enough to shut down safe havens for terror groups operating out of its territory.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Tuesday said Pakistan lies on the front line of the anti-terrorism struggle and has made "great sacrifices" in battling insurgents who pose a threat to the region and the world.

In his speech Monday, Trump said the U.S. "can no longer be silent" about terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and that the country gives sanctuary to "agents of chaos, violence and terror."

China and Pakistan have close economic, political and security ties dating back decades, based partly on their shared distrust of India, with which both have disputed borders.

___

3:18 a.m.

Reversing his past calls for a speedy exit, President Donald Trump recommitted the United States to the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan, declaring U.S. troops must "fight to win." He pointedly declined to disclose how many more troops will be dispatched to wage America's longest war.

In a prime-time address to unveil his new Afghanistan strategy, Trump said Monday the U.S. would shift away from a "time-based" approach, instead linking its assistance to results and to cooperation from the beleaguered Afghan government, Pakistan and others. He insisted it would be a "regional" strategy that addressed the roles played by other South Asian nations — especially Pakistan's harboring of elements of the Taliban.

"America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress," Trump said. "However, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check."

Still, Trump offered few details about how progress would be measured.

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