Pakistan PM: Without Trump, conflict in Afghanistan could have continued another 19 years

Pakistan PM: Without Trump, conflict in Afghanistan could have continued another 19 years
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Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said Tuesday that the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan between the U.S.-backed government and Taliban forces could have continued for another two decades were it not for President TrumpDonald John TrumpNYT publisher: US didn't step in to protect reporter from arrest in Egypt so paper turned to Ireland Trump instructed administration to withhold military aid for Ukraine days before call with president: report More Democrats threaten impeachment over Trump's dealings with Ukraine MORE.

During remarks at the U.S. Institute of Peace following a visit at the White House, Khan remarked "thank God for President Trump," and said that were it not for the policies of the Trump administration, the U.S. could have facilitated another 19 years of war in Afghanistan.

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"Nineteen years of conflict. Thank God for President Trump, I mean, this could have gone on for another 19 years," Khan said.

"We believe that we should not ever interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan," Khan added, stating that Pakistan would "facilitate the peace process."

"Fortunately now, the United States is on the same page too," he said.

His remarks come following his meeting with Trump on Monday, during which the president told reporters that a concerted U.S. effort to destroy the Taliban would be quick but very deadly.

"We're like policemen. We're not fighting a war. If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win it in a week. I just don't want to kill 10 million people. Does that make sense to you? I don't want to kill 10 million people," Trump said.

Trump also indicated this week that Khan's predecessors had not respected U.S. administrations in the past, while adding that he didn't "blame" them.

"I don't think Pakistan respected the United States, I don't think Pakistan respected its presidents," the president said Monday. "And I don't blame them because they were dealing with the wrong presidents."