Afghan president holds talks in Kabul with US defence secretary

Lloyd Austin’s visit to Kabul comes amid a disagreement between representatives of Washington and the radical Taliban over the implementation of the agreement signed between the parties in Doha

Afghan president holds talks in Kabul with US defence secretary

 

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani held talks with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, who arrived on Sunday for an unannounced visit to Kabul. This was reported by Afghan television channel Ariana News.

The Afghan head of state’s office, the TV channel notes, did not give any details of the meeting.

His visit to Kabul comes amid a disagreement between representatives of Washington and the radical Taliban movement  over the implementation of the agreement signed between the parties in Doha, one of the main points of which is the withdrawal of American troops from the country by May 1 this year.

The Pentagon chief said in New Delhi last afternoon that US President Joe Biden had not yet made a final decision on a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. According to Austin, there is “a thorough process going on in the administration on this issue, and the president is really working on making that decision.” The secretary stressed that the government is relying on the logistical aspect when considering the issue and “leaving as many options open as possible.”

On 29 February 2020, the previous US government, led by President Donald Trump, and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in Doha. Under the agreements, the United States, its allies and the coalition pledge to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan within 14 months. The Taliban, for their part, guarantee that they will not use Afghan territory for activities that threaten the security of the United States and its allies.

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