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International News

Feb 11, 2019
4:51PM

US acting secretary of defence makes unannounced visit to Afghanistan

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US acting secretary of defence Patrick Shanahan has reached Afghanistan on an unannounced visit amid a push by the United States to negotiate peace with the Taliban. 


Shanahan is expected to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Talking to a group of reporters travelling with him, he said that it is important that the Afghan government is involved in discussions regarding Afghanistan. 


Shanahan said, Washington has important security interests in the region and that he wanted to hear from the US commanders on the ground. He, however, added that he has not so far received any direction to reduce troops in Afghanistan.


The Taliban wants all foreign troops withdrawn from Afghanistan. It has also refused to negotiate directly with the Ghani's government, calling it a 'puppet' of the West. However, Ghani's allies in Washington insist that the Afghan government should lead the peace process.

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