July 9, 2018
Kabul:US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo paid an unannounced visit to the Afghanistan capital on Monday.
The visit is Pompeo’s first since becoming the top US diplomat. He met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and was scheduled to meet US forces in Afghanistan before leaving the country, CNN reported.
At a news conference alongside Ghani, Pompeo said he had come to Afghanistan to “learn of the progress made” since President Donald Trump announced his strategy for the region last August.
Pompeo said the strategy was “working” and sent a message to the people of Afghanistan that Washington supported them and sent a “clear message” to the Taliban that the terror group cannot wait out the departure of the US.
He stressed that peace must be made by Afghans. Around 14,000 US troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led mission, while also carrying out counterterrorism operations targeting Islamic State militants and Al Qaeda.
Pompeo’s visit coincided with what could be a final operation to clear fighters from the IS group and other insurgents in a remote district in the eastern Nangarhar province.