The United States has said it is not abandoning partnership with Afghanistan and is committed to support the Afghan forces despite cutting $1 billion in aid in response to irresponsible actions of the Afghan leaders.
“The United States is not abandoning our partnership with Afghanistan, nor our commitment to support the Afghan security forces, but reviewing the scope of our cooperation given the irresponsible actions of Afghan leaders,” the State Department said in a statement.
Speaking to reporters after concluding meetings with the Afghan leaders and Taliban’s deputy political chief in Qatar, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated reiterated Washington’s support to Afghan forces.
“We made very clear that we are going to continue to do everything we need to do to support those Afghan Security Forces. That is central,” he told reporters.
Pompeo further added “The negotiations have to take place against the backdrop of this important institution inside of Afghanistan, the ANDSF.”
The State Department earlier announced that Washington is cutting $1 billion in economic assistance to Afghanistan in reaction to ongoing political impasse.
According to a statement released by State Department, Washington is prepared to further reduce its assistance to Afghanistan by additional $1 billion next year.
The statement further added “The United States deeply regrets that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and former Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have informed Secretary Pompeo that they have been unable to agree on an inclusive government that can meet the challenges of governance, peace, and security, and provide for the health and welfare of Afghan citizens.”
“Because this leadership failure poses a direct threat to U.S. national interests, effective immediately, the U.S. government will initiate a review of the scope of our cooperation with Afghanistan,” the State Department said, adding that “Among other steps, we are today announcing a responsible adjustment to our spending in Afghanistan and immediately reducing assistance by $1 billion this year. We are prepared to reduce by another $1 billion in 2021.”