US secretary of state Mike Pompeo unexpectedly arrived in Kabul late Tuesday and discussed peace, security and presidential elections with NUG leaders.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo unexpectedly arrived in Kabul late Tuesday and discussed peace, security and presidential elections with NUG leaders.
Speaking at a press conference at US embassy in Kabul, Mr Pompeo said that talks with Taliban have had good progress and an agreement on this issue that Afghanistan will never be used for terrorist purposes, is expected to be finalized with Taliban as soon as possible.

Secretary Pompeo hoped to have a deal in place before Sept. 1, when Afghan voters are expected to go to the polls for elections that have already been delayed twice. “But the pursuit of peace should not wait until the Afghan presidential election,” he added. “Election planning must go forward without delay as we pursue the peace that Afghans deserve.”
“While we’ve made clear to the Taliban that we are prepared to remove our forces, I want to be clear we have not yet agreed on a timeline to do so,” he stressed.

The Afghan presidential palace, meanwhile, said in a statement that Ashraf Ghani appreciated US efforts for the Afghan peace process, saying that “the friendly countries and the international partners of Afghanistan are better to avoid scattered efforts.”
During the meeting, Mr Ghani said that coherent and united efforts and messages regarding the Afghan peace will be productive.
“The US supports the Afghan peace process and the presidential elections due to be held in September, ready for any kinds of cooperation,” said the statement.

The US secretary insists on reaching an agreement with the Taliban before September 1 while, unlike him, Ashraf Ghani says that the first election should be held so that a legitimate government would advance the peace talks.
Having these, the US special representative on the Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad will sit with the Taliban next Saturday in Qatar.


News Id: E14476