US State Secretary speaks with Afghan President, discusses bilateral partnership

Washington DC [US], January 29 (ANI): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday spoke with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani regarding the US commitment to an enduring US-Afghan partnership.
“The Secretary highlighted robust diplomatic support for the peace process focused on helping the parties to the conflict achieve a durable and just political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire that benefits all Afghans,” Secretary Department Spokesperson Ned Price said.
Blinken shared that the United States is reviewing the February 2020 US-Taliban agreement and whether the Taliban are living up to their commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders.
The Secretary reiterated his desire for all Afghan leaders to support this historic opportunity for peace while preserving the progress made over the last 20 years with regard to human rights, civil liberties, and the role of women in Afghan society.
Blinken committed to consultations with the Government of Afghanistan, NATO allies, and international partners regarding a collective strategy to support a stable, sovereign, democratic, and secure future for Afghanistan.
The newly appointed Secretary of State during a press conference on Wednesday had said Zalmay Khalilzad was offered to stay in his capacity of United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation in the Biden administration, which is conducting a review of previous agreements reached with the Taliban.
“Yes, we have asked him to continue the vital work that he is performing,” Blinken said.
Blinken also said that agreements the United States reached a year ago with the Taliban opposition movement are currently being studied by the new Biden administration.
The deal kick-started an intra-Afghan reconciliation process and allowed the United States to reduce its military presence in Afghanistan to 2,500 servicemen, Sputnik reported. (ANI)

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