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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani shake hands after a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul on July 9.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani shake hands after a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul on July 9.

Pompeo Makes Unannounced Visit to Afghanistan

Pompeo Makes Unannounced Visit to Afghanistan

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise stop Monday in Afghanistan, where he met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and offered US support in facilitating peace talks with the Taliban.
Pompeo told reporters that the Trump administration’s strategy in Afghanistan “is working” but that a peace process in the region long wracked by violence must be anchored by Afghans themselves, Politico reported.
“The American role will be important in this,” the secretary of state said. “We can’t run the peace talks; we can’t settle this from the outside.”
Pompeo’s visit to Afghanistan comes after the collapse of a brief ceasefire that had sparked hope for a more permanent peace process. That temporary ceasefire was pushed by the Afghan government, as were efforts to continue it that were rejected by militants.
Increased US military activity in the country, Pompeo said, has “sent a clear message to the Taliban” that “they cannot wait us out.”
“The region and the world are all tired of what are taking place here in the same way that the Afghan people are no longer interested in seeing war,” he said.
Pompeo spent just hours in Kabul, and his visit was kept secret. In addition to meetings with Afghan officials, the secretary of state also met with US troops at Bagram Airfield.
He arrived in the Afghan capital after traveling from Vietnam and flew from Kabul to the United Arab Emirates for meetings with leaders there. The secretary of state will be in Brussels later this week to accompany US President Donald Trump at the NATO summit.

 

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