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Pompeo, Ghani Agree To Accelerate Afghan Peace Talks


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Afghan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, and former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, right, at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, on June 25.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani have agreed that it was time to "accelerate efforts" to end the war in Afghanistan, a joint statement issued by the U.S. State Department said.

Pompeo and Ghani spoke by phone on July 25, the statement said.

Ghani had asked for clarifications following U.S. President Donald Trump's remark earlier this week that he had a plan that could win the war in Afghanistan “in a week,” but he didn't "want to kill 10 million people."

The statement said Pompeo assured Ghani that "there has been no change to President Trump’s South Asia strategy, including U.S. commitment to a conditions-based drawdown.”

Pompeo told Ghani that General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and U.S. Afghan special representative Zalmay Khalizad had been sent to Kabul to "discuss in detail the next steps on the road to peace," the statement added.

The statement also said that Ghani had confirmed Afghanistan’s commitment “to working side-by-side with the United States to achieve a stable, peaceful, democratic Afghanistan that is not a center for terrorism.”

The statement was released amid a wave of attacks across three Afghan provinces that left more than 50 people dead.

With reporting by Reuters and dpa
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