US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived on Monday in Kabul, on a previously unannounced visit, in a bid to break a political dispute gripping the government in Kabul after the presidential election and stalling peace talks with the Taliban, the US media informs.
Pompeo is scheduled to held separate and combined talks with President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah, a candidate for president last year who has disputed Ghani’s official victory in last year’s elections. Both men have held their own separate inauguration ceremonies.
Pompeo took the decision to fly just a day after the U.S. and Qatar facilitated representatives of Afghanistan and the Taliban to hold a “virtual” video meeting. The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said that both sides “reaffirmed their firm commitment to reducing violence, inter-Afghan negotiations, and a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire” and also agreed on the next technical meeting in the next couple of days.