The US Defense Secretary, James Mattis, met with the commander-in-chief of NATO and the US Armed Forces, General John Nicholson, and with Afghan President Ashraf GhaniUS Defense Secretary James Mattis visited the Afghan capital Kabul by surprise , confirmed NATO spokesman in Afghanistan Tom Gresback today.
Mattis met with the commander-in-chief of NATO and the US Armed Forces, General John Nicholson, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani . The latter tweeted that he and Mattis had talked in the presidential palace about peace paths with the Taliban and other issues.President Ghani moved a broad peace offer two weeks ago to the Taliban, to which they have not yet replied. On the contrary, they have continued with their attacks. The Taliban control at least 14.3 percent of the country, according to official data.
Ghani and Mattis also talked about the parliamentary elections that will take place in the second half of the year, the tense relationship with Pakistan and the fight against the drug industry, which is booming in Afghanistan and which benefits the Taliban. The United States bombs drug laboratories since November to eliminate the sources of income of the extremists.
The newspaper “Wall Street Journal”, which had one of its journalists aboard the plane on which Mattis traveled, indicated that the secretary wanted to learn about the state of the new US strategy for Afghanistan.
After years of withdrawal of troops, the new strategy contemplates the sending of thousands of soldiers to the country and many more bombings due to the intensification of the war with the Taliban .
According to the C-Span network, which issued Mattis’ statements on the plane, the defense secretary explained that “some of the Taliban are clearly interested” in negotiating with the Afghan government. They must be separated from the movement as a whole, he said, adding that a victory in Afghanistan is not a military one, but a politically negotiated solution.
Mattis’ visit came shortly before the Taliban spring offensive began, although in recent years they have not ceased their activity in winter.
This is Mattis’ second visit to Kabul since September and the third since he is Secretary of Defense .