US, Afghanistan to stay partners till elimination of terrorism
KABUL: Acting United States Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan said on Monday (February 11) that the U.S. and Afghanistan would continue military partnership till the restoration of peace.
Patrick M. Shanahan, who arrived on first surprise visit in Kabul, met Afghan President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani.
President Ghani said the new US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia had positive impacts. He, however, added that strategic goal of eliminating sanctuaries of terrorists in the neighboring country had not been achieved so far.
According to a presidential office press release available with Afghan Islamic Press (AIP), the war on terrorism would continue till the goal of peace was achieved. The military partnership of Afghanistan and US would continue till the restoration of peace, the press release said.
A national consultative gathering for peace would be held in Kabul soon, the president said. Representatives of various parts of the country would attend the gathering. Their viewpoint and consultation in connection with various phases of peace would be given consideration in the conference.
After the national consultative gathering, the third meeting of Kabul Process would be held, the press release stated. Its main agenda would be restoration of peace.
Meanwhile, the US secretary of defense and his accompanying delegation met Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib.
Dr. Mohib lauded the strategic and long-term cooperation of United States of America with Afghanistan. He said the US would continue support for the peace process led and owned by Afghans.
He went on to say that the 18-year achievements of the people of Afghanistan would be protected in the peace process.
The Afghan government had launched positive initiatives in the progress in peace process, Dr. Mohib said, adding that the brave security forces of the country would fully able to defend the land and territorial integrity of Afghanistan.
He said that efforts for the restoration of durable peace and stability to Afghanistan would continue.
The US side expressed happiness on the improvement of the capacitance and leadership of the Afghan defence ministry. He would that the Resolute Support and U.S. would continue cooperation to boost the Afghan security and defence forces.
Meanwhile, the U.S. acting secretary of defence met acting defence minister of Afghanistan Asadullah Khalid. Both the leaders discussed the ongoing security and defence situation of Afghanistan.
Lauding the U.S. assistance for Afghan forces, Khalid urged the United States of America to increase support for the strengthening, professional training and counseling of Afghan National Army (ANA).
The US acting secretary of defence said his country would continue support with Afghan forces. He assured that his country would not leave the Afghan security and defence forces along in the war on terrorism. (AIP)