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September 17, 2018
The Kabul Times
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President Ghani praises US strategy for South Asia

KABUL: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used an unannounced trip to Afghanistan on Monday to step up the Trump administration’s calls for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Flying into Kabul after visiting Vietnam, Pompeo made the appeal in meetings with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr, Abdullah Abdullah.
“The United States will support, facilitate and participate in these discussions,” Pompeo later told journalists, stressing that any talks would be “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned and his country would continue supporting Afghanistan.
Pompeo added: “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.”
Speaking at Monday’s news conference, President Ghani praised the Trump administration’s South Asia strategy, which included sending more American forces and pressuring neighboring Pakistan to do more to stop militants coming over its border into Afghanistan.
“Because of this strategy and the conditions-based nature of it, we, the members of the government, have been able to take bold steps outside the box and articulate an agenda of peace that is truly comprehensive and asks for engagement,” President Ghani said, citing the recent cease-fire.
Pompeo also added, perhaps optimistically given Afghanistan’s long history of resisting foreign forces, that the Taliban were “beginning to see that they cannot wait us out.”
Pompeo left Afghanistan for the United Arab Emirates, where he will meet Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The Kabul Times

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