KABUL – United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday and reiterated US support to Afghanistan until the country achieved security and stability, officials said.
Mattis and Ghani “exchanged views on and discussed various issues related to Afghanistan and the region, particularly peace process, security, positive impact of the US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia, reforms in Afghan Defense and Security sectors, upcoming parliamentary, presidential and district council elections, counter terrorism and peace talks with Pakistan,” the presidential palace said in a statement.
Also present at the meeting, held in Kabul, were Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford.
The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and put an end, with the support of Afghan armed opposition, to the Taliban regime, which is still fighting for control of parts of the territory.
According to the statement, Mattis reiterated US support to the National Unity Government of the Asian country “until Afghanistan reaches prosperity, security and lasting stability.”
Mattis, who came to the Afghan capital on Friday morning from New Delhi, had, along with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, discussed with their Indian counterparts, Nirmala Sitharaman and Sushma Swaraj respectively, the importance of both India and the US in Afghanistan.
The same subject was addressed by Pompeo and Mattis during their stopover in Pakistan, where the secretary of state stressed the need for Pakistan “to seriously engage to help us get to the reconciliation we need in Afghanistan.”