US defense chief, NATO head on surprise Afghan visit

US' James Mattis coming to Kabul from New Delhi, where he held talks on India's proposed larger role in Afghanistan

US defense chief, NATO head on surprise Afghan visit

World Bulletin / News Desk

On an unannounced visit, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis along with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg landed in Kabul, Afghanistan early on Wednesday. 

This is the first trip to Afghanistan of the two top Western security bosses following U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of a new Afghan strategy in late August. 

Stoltenberg and Mattis are “visiting Afghan leadership and troops,” the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) announced in a statement.

On Tuesday, Mattis met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi to discuss improved defense cooperation and Trump’s plan for India to take a larger role in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.

Mattis last visited Afghanistan in April to assess the situation to advise Trump about a likely surge of U.S. troops. 

Flanked by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, Mattis said then that Washington has no illusions about the mission in Afghanistan, and that 2017 will be another tough year for both Afghan security forces and the international troops here.

NATO and its partners are already committed to providing financial support to sustain the Afghan forces until the end of 2017 and are currently working to ensure support until the end of 2020.

 
Last Mod: 27 Eylül 2017, 10:58
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