Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
October 23, 2017
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has paid an unannounced visit to Afghanistan during which he discussed Washington’s new strategy to try to successfully conclude the 16-year war with President Ashraf Ghani.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said in a statement on October 23 that Tillerson and Ghani “reaffirmed the U.S.-Afghan commitment to achieving peace, stability, and long-term prosperity in Afghanistan.”
Tillerson said that the new U.S. strategy for South Asia “makes clear the United States’ commitment to working with the government of Afghanistan and with partners across the region to achieve peace in Afghanistan and deny safe havens to terrorists who threaten that goal,” it added.
The statement also said that Ghani “reiterated his support for the new U.S. strategy and emphasized his government’s commitment to reforms.”
The meeting took place at Bagram Airfield north of Kabul, the United States’ largest base in Afghanistan, as Ghani’s Western-backed government is struggling to beat back insurgents in the wake of the exit of most NATO forces in 2014.
The administration of President Donald Trump has recently unveiled a strategy to try to defeat the militants, and officials said more than 3,000 additional U.S. troops are being sent to the country to reinforce the 11,000 U.S. troops already stationed in the country.
Tillerson is on a six-day tour that has already taken him to Saudi Arabia and Qatar and will also take him to Pakistan and India.
Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.