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Performing Pentagon chief makes unannounced Afghanistan journey | Information

Acting Pentagon chief makes unannounced Afghanistan trip | News


Performing Pentagon chief makes unannounced Afghanistan journey | Information

Patrick Shanahan, the appearing secretary of defence, has arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced go to amid a push by the United States to barter peace with the Taliban

Shanahan will meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, whose authorities was not a part of main talks between the US and Taliban officers final month that officers hope might convey a breakthrough within the 17-year battle.

“It is vital that the Afghan authorities is concerned in discussions relating to Afghanistan,” Shanahan instructed a small group of reporters travelling with him on the shock journey on Monday.

The appearing Pentagon chief mentioned Washington has necessary safety pursuits within the area and needed to listen to from the commanders on the bottom.

Shanahan changed Jim Mattis, who stop in December over coverage variations with US President Donald Trump

The Taliban has refused to barter instantly with Ghani’s authorities, calling it a “puppet” of the West. However Ghani’s allies in Washington insist Afghans ought to lead the peace course of.

Kabul can also be involved {that a} sharp withdrawal of the almost 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan might result in chaos within the area. 

The Taliban needs all American troops withdrawn, and officers say that’s on the high of the armed group’s listing of calls for in exploratory talks. 

Shanahan, who will even meet US commanders, instructed reporters he had up to now not obtained any path to cut back troops in Afghanistan. 

‘Reality-finding mission’

Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley, reporting from Kabul, mentioned Shanahan’s journey was “a fact-finding mission”. 

“His views on Afghanistan usually are not extensively recognized, and he’s anticipated to make them recognized after this go to,” Birtley added. “His feedback on Afghan authorities’s involvement in peace talks is necessary for the federal government as a result of they really feel sidelined by the US-led talks.”

Zalmay Khalilzad, the Trump administration’s particular envoy for Afghan peace talks, mentioned on Friday that though peace talks with the Taliban are in an early stage, he hopes a deal might be made by July.

That’s when Afghanistan is scheduled to carry a presidential election.

Since being appointed final September because the US particular consultant for Afghan reconciliation, Khalilzad has carried out numerous rounds of talks with the Taliban and different regional representatives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, India, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. 

The US envoy’s most up-to-date talks had been in Doha late final month the place the 2 sides met for six days.

Washington needs assurances that Afghanistan is not going to harbour teams that will use the nation as a base to launch assaults on the US. 

The following spherical of talks is due in Qatar on February 25.

In December, there have been quite a few reviews that Trump deliberate to halve the variety of US forces in Afghanistan. In his State of the Union tackle final week, the US president mentioned any troop pullout could be linked to progress in peace talks. 

Normal Joseph Votel, the commander of US Central Command, showing earlier than Congress final week, provided a largely optimistic view of Afghanistan, saying the present manoeuvring between the US and Taliban negotiators is “our first actual alternative for peace and reconciliation because the conflict started”.

Votel famous that the Taliban are nonetheless able to inflicting important casualties on Afghan authorities forces.

Simply final week, Taliban fighters killed some two dozen Afghan troops in an assault on a military base in northern Kunduz province.

Along with battling the Taliban, the US and coalition forces in Afghanistan are focussed on an affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS), generally known as ISIS-Khorasan, comprised of international fighters largely from Pakistan.

Al Jazeera and information businesses


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