Ghani met U.S. Defense Secretary


KABUL: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made a surprise visit to Kabul and met with President Ashraf Ghani and other top officials on Monday.

According to a statement shared by the presidential palace, both sides denounced the surge of violence in the war-torn country and emphasized the importance of a long-term and peaceful mechanism to resolve the current situation.

“It’s obvious that the level of violence remains pretty high in the country,” Austin said.

“We’d really like to see that violence come down, and I think if it does come down, it can begin to set the conditions for, you know, some fruitful diplomatic work,” he added.

Austin’s visit comes before Washington’s final troop withdrawal, which was agreed upon with the Taliban last year.

He arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday after visiting Japan, South Korea, and India