U.S. Defense Secretary meets Afghan president in Kabul: presidential palace statement

KABUL (Reuters) – United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during a visit to Kabul on Sunday, the presidential palace said in a statement.

They discussed the peace process and concerns over rising violence, according to the statement.

Austin made a previously unannounced visit to the Afghan capital following a trip to India this week.

The visit comes at a crucial time for the Afghan peace process as U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration reviews its plan for Afghanistan ahead of a May troop withdrawal deadline agreed by the previous Trump administration with the insurgent Taliban.

Reporting by Orooj Hakimi; Writing by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Catherine Evans

Source: Reuters