China News Service, March 22. According to a report by the US Chinese website, on the 21st, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin suddenly visited Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and met with Afghan President Ghani.
Recently, Washington is reviewing the peace process in Afghanistan and its withdrawal plan.
Austin pointed out in a post on the social networking site "Twitter" that this was his first visit to Afghanistan since he was appointed as the Minister of Defense. He came to "listen and learn."
He said, "This visit is very helpful to me, and it will further familiarize me with the review we are conducting with President Biden."
The Afghan Presidential Palace stated that Austin and Ghani discussed the peace process and concerns about the escalation of violence.
This visit comes at a critical moment in the peace process in Afghanistan. The Taliban and the administration of former US President Trump have previously reached an agreement to withdraw troops from Afghanistan before May 1, 2021.
But Biden said on the 17th that the deadline for withdrawal on May 1 will be difficult to reach. The US government is negotiating with allies and has not yet made a decision.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for Afghanistan, has also been active in the region in recent weeks and made some suggestions for the peace process, including establishing an interim government in Afghanistan and holding a summit meeting in Turkey.
Negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Doha, the capital of Qatar, have failed to make progress, and violence has increased.
The Taliban stated that they would like to see this process speed up and warned Washington to comply with the agreed withdrawal date. If it does not comply with the agreement, it will face serious consequences.
At the end of February 2020, the Trump administration and the Taliban signed an agreement. The U.S. promised to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan from approximately 13,000 to 8,600 within 135 days. The remaining U.S. and NATO coalition soldiers will be withdrawn by May 2021.