The acting Secretary of Defense of the United States Patrick Shanahan has said that no direction has been received to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

He made the remarks to a group of journalists who were travelling with him to Afghanistan, according to Reuters.

Shanahan arrived in Afghanistan early on Monday in an unannounced visit and is scheduled to meet with the U.S. forces and Afghan officials.

Amid ongoing efforts to resolve the ongoing conflict through negotiations, Shanahan said it was important the Afghan government is involved in talks.

He also pointed towards the important security interests of the United States in the region and added that he has so far not received any direction to reduce the nearly 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

This comes as the U.S. President Donald Trump had earlier said that the U.S. forces would be withdrawn from Afghanistan if a peace agreement was reached with the Taliban group.