Acting Pentagon arch Patrick Shanahan arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced revisit Monday as the United States leads a pull for assent talks with the Taliban.
Shanahan will accommodate President Ashraf Ghani, who has warned opposite rushing into a understanding after Washington hold vital talks with Taliban officials in Qatar last month that negotiators wish could outrider a breakthrough in the harsh 17-year conflict.
US President Donald Trump is pulling to end US impasse in Afghanistan, where 14,000 American infantry are still deployed, lifting Afghan fears that Washington could exit before securing a durability assent between the Taliban and the Kabul government.
Shanahan told reporters progressing that he had no instructions from Washington to start a withdrawal, however.
“I have not been destined to step down our army in Afghanistan,” Shanahan said.
“I think the participation we want in Afghanistan is what assures our homeland counterclaim and supports informal stability.”
He pronounced it was essential Kabul, whose member were not at the talks in Qatar, was concerned in discussions over the destiny of Afghanistan.
“The Afghans have to confirm what Afghanistan looks like in the future. It’s not about the US, it’s about Afghanistan,” Shanahan said.
“The US has poignant — poignant — investment in ensuring security, but the Afghans confirm their future.”
Shanahan met General Scott Miller, the tip US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, before visiting Camp Morehead where Americans sight Afghan special forces.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special attach� heading the talks, has voiced wish at anticipating a understanding before Afghan presidential elections scheduled for July, but has emphasised that any couple withdrawal would count on conditions on the ground.
Khalilzad is set to lead a vast commission on a six-nation tour, including Afghanistan, to boost the assent routine and find to move all Afghan parties to the table.
– ‘Constructive’ –
The months-long pull by the US to rivet the Taliban has evidently been directed at convincing them to negotiate with Kabul, which the insurgents cruise a US puppet.
Ghani spoke last week with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who also stressed the significance of the Afghan supervision being at the centre of the assent process.
But the insurgents, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001, have resolutely refused.
Instead they met directly with US negotiators in Doha last month for assent talks described by US President Donald Trump as “constructive”.
The US is approaching to embark a second turn of talks with Taliban officials on Feb 25 in Qatar, where they have their domestic office.
The militants, who were defeated by US-led army in 2001, last week hold apart talks in Moscow with a comparison commission of Afghan politicians — including arch Ghani rivals.
The two-day talks were the Taliban’s most poignant rendezvous with Afghan leaders in years, and saw former boss Hamid Karzai, among others, dining and praying with the insurgents — though but the impasse of the supervision it was misleading what impact they will have.
Ghani — who has vented disappointment as his friends and enemies were graphic negotiating the destiny of his nation — has described the Moscow talks as “nothing more than fantasy”.
The Taliban have summarized their prophesy for Afghanistan, proposing an “inclusive Islamic system” of governance and perfectionist a new Islam-based structure for the country.
Both parties expelled a matter at the end of the talks earnest to allege negotiations at a after date.
Shanahan was towering from emissary invulnerability secretary to the Pentagon’s tip mark Jan 1, after Jim Mattis quit amid long-running disagreements with President Trump.
His revisit to Afghanistan comes as the United Nations pronounced it was questioning “credible” reports of Afghan municipal deaths and injuries from an airstrike over the weekend in Helmand, a Taliban stronghold.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) pronounced late Sunday it would share the commentary once an exploration into the “aerial operations” in Sangin district was completed.
Civilians continue to compensate a jagged cost in the fighting.
The Taliban are obliged for about half of municipal casualties, but a UNAMA news pronounced the number killed by aerial bombings from Jan until Oct 2018 reached a record high.