Abdullah Abdullah welcomed the visit by State Secretary Mike Pompeo to Afghanistan amid global crisis having links with the coronavirus pandemic, calling it a good opportunity to resolve the ongoing political crisis in Afghanistan.
However, he said the opportunity was not properly seized, as reflected in State Department’s statement that Mr. Pompeo relayed the U.S. government’s message regarding the urgent need to resolve the current crisis.
Hailing the U.S. government for its cooperation with the Afghan people and its efforts to pave the way for intra-Afghan talks, Abdullah emphasized that the continued U.S. cooperation is vital in ensuring the national interests of Afghanistan and bringing peace in the country.
The State Department earlier announced that Washington is cutting $1 billion in economic assistance to Afghanistan in reaction to ongoing political impasse.
According to a statement released by State Department, Washington is prepared to further reduce its assistance to Afghanistan by additional $1 billion next year.
The statement further added “The United States deeply regrets that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and former Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have informed Secretary Pompeo that they have been unable to agree on an inclusive government that can meet the challenges of governance, peace, and security, and provide for the health and welfare of Afghan citizens.”
“Because this leadership failure poses a direct threat to U.S. national interests, effective immediately, the U.S. government will initiate a review of the scope of our cooperation with Afghanistan,” the State Department said, adding that “Among other steps, we are today announcing a responsible adjustment to our spending in Afghanistan and immediately reducing assistance by $1 billion this year. We are prepared to reduce by another $1 billion in 2021.”