The Afghan government is fully apprised about talks between the United States and the Taliban, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.
This comes as earlier, Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib accused US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad of a lack of transparency.
Testifying before House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Pompeo said that US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass talks to President Ashraf Ghani “multiple times every week, multiple times everyday on some days.”
“You should know, we are very, very focused on making sure that the gains that have been achieved aren’t lost as part of this.
The security gains that have been achieved, the gains, all be it intermittent with respect to corruption,” Pompeo said. “We hope we can actually do better. But as you well know, this is still a very difficult place. It is the reason we still have thousands of soldiers on the ground. And we are focused on taking down the level of violence.”
Pompeo said that terror groups like Islamic State and al-Qaeda are still in Afghanistan.
“So all the while being mindful of that we have important counterterrorism equities we need to make sure we address appropriately. And that is what Ambassador Khalilzad and we are trying to convince all the parties, President Ghani, other Afghan actors and the Taliban to come together to see if we can find a way to reduce the violence,” Pompeo said.
“When we do that, we will be able to reduce not only American forces there, but importantly the NATO forces that are located inside and working together alongside of Afghanistan,” Pompeo added.