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FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 in New York described as "the sound of a dog barking" Trump's threat to destroy his country. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Trump, alongside Afghanistan's president, called the country a 'hornet's nest' of terrorism


Updated September 21, 2017 09:50 AM EDT

President Trump on Thursday called Afghanistan a "hornet's nest" of terrorism in a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

"People don't realize you have 20 terrorist groups in Afghanistan," he said in New York City. "It's a hornet's nest from that standpoint. We are hitting them hard and very effectively. We have no choice but to do it."

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"One of the reasons is to stop these terrorist forces that seem to accumulate in Afghanistan for whatever reason," Trump added during his final day at the United Nations.

Trump tied Afghanistan's struggles with terrorism to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York City that killed 2,996 people and wounded over 6,000 more.

"This is where the World Trade Center people - I'll call them 'people' - trained," he said, referencing the hijackers who flew planes into the twin towers that were there.

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Trump additionally praised the "tremendous spirit" of U.S. and Afghan military forces fighting terrorism together, while Ghani thanked the American people for their military efforts in his nation.

"I'd like to pay tribute to [the] American soldiers, officers and civilians, particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice," he said. "That sacrifice can now result in a stable Afghanistan. We salute you."

"Victory, military and political-wise, is within our view," Ghani added. "We do not ask for a blank check. We are determined to do what is ours."

Updated September 21, 2017 09:36 AM EDT

President Trump meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the U.N.

President Trump on Thursday will meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during his final day at the United Nations (U.N.) in New York City, according to The Hill.

The Hill reported that the pair's meeting comes one day after the Pentagon announced it is sending more than 3,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan to aid counterterrorism efforts there.

Trump said that the presence of American forces in Afghanistan would be dictated by conditions on the ground rather than "arbitrary" guidelines.

Ghani on Tuesday praised Trump's strategy, telling the U.N.'s General Assembly that extremist organizations such as al Qaeda and the Taliban remain a menace in his nation.

"President Trump's new strategy includes the disruption and denial of sanctuary to terrorists whose motives know no boundaries," he said.

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