The Afghan government has demanded an explanation following U.S. President Donald Trump’s comment about the former Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.
The Afghan Presidential Palace said in a statement on Thursday that the request for clarification was lodged through official diplomatic channels.
The statement added that the Afghan government understood “there is a difference between remarks and the official policy of a country.’’
The statement came after Trump, on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday said that the former Soviet Union, which invaded Afghanistan in 1979, was “right to be there’’ because “terrorists were going into Russia’’ at that time.
One official, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, the son of a former leader that fought against the invasion, tweeted that the “Soviet occupation was a grave violation of Afghanistan’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty.’’
Pointing to Trump’s remarks, Rabbani said “any other claim defies historical facts.’’
Trump also said that currently, Russia, Pakistan and India should be intervening in Afghanistan, not the U.S.
“Why are we there 6,000 miles away?” President Trump said.
Some 14,000 U.S. troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan.