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Pompeo says his visit to Afghanistan was 'very frustrating'

26 Mar 2020 1TV News

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday he was frustrated after a visit to Afghanistan this week in which he failed to mediate an end to a leadership feud between President Ashraf Ghani and political rival Abdullah Abdullah.

"I traveled to Afghanistan at a time when there’s not much travel taking place for a very specific purpose," Pompeo said at a State Department news briefing.

"I went there to make sure that Afghan leaders understood America’s interest there, the role that all of the Resolute Support Mission has played there over the years, and to urge them to execute on the commitments that they had made in the joint declaration – that is, the Afghan leadership had made a set of commitments, things that they would live up to, and so far they have not executed on that. I went there to talk to them about how we could assist them in delivering on that."

"I’ll be honest, it was very frustrating,” Pompeo said.

However, he said efforts would continue to convince all the parties in the conflict to embrace peace and reconcilation and that he remained optimistic about the prospects for intra-Afghan peace talks.

"We need all of the political leadership in Afghanistan to come together: President Ghani, Dr. Abdullah, all of those who have a shared interest in moving Afghanistan forward, in creating peace and reconciliation for the Afghan people, to better the lives for Afghan people, to come up with a team that can sit down and have conversations broadly with all Afghanis, intra-Afghan negotiations to resolve these set of outstanding issues," Pompeo said.

"It’s why we made the announcement that said the United States is prepared to reduce security assistance to them. And we will continue to try and convince all the parties, the Taliban included, that it’s time for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan," Pompeo said.

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