Reduction in aid will not affect key sectors: Ghani

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani in a statement on the US reduction of aid to Afghanistan said the cut in assistance will not have a direct impact on key sectors in Afghanistan.

The US government on Monday announced an immediate reduction of $1 billion in its assistance to Afghanistan this year over the political impasse in the country.

Earlier on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul, together and separately, but his meetings ended without yielding results. The US statement warned that another $1 billion in 2021would be cut if the situation doesn’t change.

“Right now, I can assure you that reduction in US assistance will not have a direct impact on our key sectors and we will try to fill the gap by searching for alternative ways,” Ghani said. “For us, saving the nation, maintaining prices, providing services and keeping the government and the republic active is important and crucial for us. In these areas, it will not have any impact on the people’s lives.”

Ghani said that the US has not reduced the mentioned amount of its aid so far. “As mentioned in the US statement, they have yet to cut the aid, but it is conditional,” Ghani said. “We will try to convince them through talks.”

Ghani said he had constructive and positive talks with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“Our discussions with the US secretary of state were focused on peace and strengthening the defense and security forces of Afghanistan and they were held in a positive and constructive environment,” Ghani said.

Ghani said that the experience of governments that represents a party is failed and “we are not seeking failed experiences.”

Ghani once again called on the Taliban to welcome the religious scholars’ call for a ceasefire, in order to rescue the people from the coronavirus. “If any tragedy occurs in the country, the Taliban and their foreign supporters will be responsible,” Ghani said.(TOLOnews)