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Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan arrives in Afghanistan

KABUL: Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan arrived in Afghanistan on a marvel visit Monday because the United States seeks to fortify the Kabul executive whilst negotiating peace with the Taliban.

Shanahan will meet President Ashraf Ghani, whose executive was not a part of main talks between US and Taliban officials ultimate month that negotiators hope may bring a step forward in the grinding 17-year war.

The US diplomat leading the talks has expressed hope at finding a deal earlier than Afghan presidential elections scheduled for July, as President Donald Trump calls for an finish to American military involvement in the war-torn country.

Ghani's allies in Washington insist Afghans must lead the peace process, however the Taliban believe the Kabul management a US puppet and refused to speak to them.

Shanahan strengthened US fortify for the Kabul executive earlier than touching down in the Afghan capital.

"It's important that the Afghan government is involved in discussions regarding Afghanistan," Shanahan told reporters on the flight.

"The Afghans have to decide what Afghanistan looks like in the future. It's not about the US, it's about Afghanistan."

The months-long push by the USA to interact the Taliban has ostensibly been aimed toward convincing them to barter with Kabul.

The insurgents have refused to satisfy Ghani executive officials.

But ultimate week they held exceptional talks in Moscow with a high-ranking delegation of Afghan politicians-- together with chief Ghani opponents -- to speak about their role in the country's future and a conceivable trail against peace.

Trump has been pushing to end US involvement in Afghanistan, where 14,000 American troops are nonetheless deployed.

But Zalmay Khalilzad, a former ambassador to Afghanistan who has spoken broadly with the Taliban in contemporary weeks, emphasized that any troop withdrawal would rely on stipulations on the ground.

US and NATO officials have denied that a deal has been struck on America taking flight its troops. The Taliban, speaking in Moscow ultimate week, also mentioned that a timeline had not been agreed upon.

Shanahan will meet General Scott Miller, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, all through his visit.

"I have not been directed to step down our forces in Afghanistan," Shanahan mentioned.

"I think the presence we want in Afghanistan is what assures our homeland defence and supports regional stability."

The US is expected to resume talks with Taliban officials in Doha, where the insurgents have their political place of business, on February 25.

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