Tillerson Pays Fleeting Visit To Afghanistan

  • Date of Publication : 24/10/2017 at 11:28 GMT
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The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Bagram air base, outside Kabul, on Monday and met with President Ashraf Ghani, CEO Abdullah Abdullah and national security advisor Hanif Atmar.

The US embassy in Kabul confirmed the visit and said Ghani and Tillerson reaffirmed the US-Afghan commitment to achieving peace, stability and long-term prosperity in Afghanistan.

“The secretary stated that the new US 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,” a press release issued by the US embassy said.

“President Ghani reiterated his support for the new US strategy and emphasized his government’s commitment to reforms aimed at ensuring the safety, security, and well-being of all Afghans.”

According to a government source the discussions centered around counterterrorism, the new US strategy on Afghanistan, the peace process and bilateral relations.

In a taped message after his meeting Tillerson said: “I will be traveling to Islamabad tomorrow, in fact to meet with the Pakistani leadership as well, and we have made some very specific requests from Pakistan in order for them to take action to undermine the support the Taliban receive and other terrorist organizations receive in Pakistan.”

He said: “As we said in this whole strategy, this is a conditions based approach and so our relations with Pakistan will also be conditions based; it will be based upon that they take action that we feel is necessary to move the process forward – both creating an opportunity for reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan but also for ensuring a stable future for Pakistan.”

He went on to say the US is as concerned about the future of Pakistan as it is about that of Afghanistan. He also said Pakistan needs to take a “clear eye view of the situation they are confronted with in terms of the number of terrorist organizations that find safe havens inside Pakistan – so we want to work closely with Pakistan to create a more stable and secure Pakistan as well.”

Tillerson is on a five-nation tour and will hold discussions with high-ranking officials in Pakistan on Tuesday.

From Pakistan, Tillerson goes to India.

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