MEXICO CITY — The Taliban have called on Donald Trump to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan once he takes office as president.

In a statement sent to The Associated Press, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Wednesday that a Trump administration "should allow Afghans to become a free nation and have relationships with other countries based on non-interference in each other's affairs."

The Afghan conflict is in its 16th year. The Taliban have spread their footprint across Afghanistan in the two years since most international combat troops withdrew.

President Obama expanded U.S. troops' mandate to enable them to work more closely on the battlefield with their Afghan counterparts and to conduct counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and the Taliban.

French President Francois Hollande, who has said the election of Donald Trump "opens a period of uncertainty," pushed for a continued "fight against terrorism" in the Middle East.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Trump in a message posted on Twitter. Modi tweeted that "we appreciate the friendship you have articulated toward India during your campaign.

The president-elect had reached out to Indian-American voters at a rally in New Jersey in mid-October, praising Modi and vowing to defeat terrorism.

Turkey's prime minister called on Trump to extradite a U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen — blamed by Ankara for the failed coup in July — as soon as he is sworn in.

Binali Yildirim also said Wednesday that he hoped the new leadership in the United States would take into consideration Turkey's "sensitivities concerning the fight against terrorism," give priority to policies that would bring peace and stability to the region and advance traditional friendship between the two countries.

Ties between the two allies have been strained over perceptions in Turkey that the United States is reluctant to arrest and extradite Gulen.

In Other News
Load More