US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani insisted that it is the time to accelerate efforts in order to end almost two decades old turmoil in war-ravaged Afghanistan, the US State Department said.
"Good conversation with President @AshrafGhani yesterday. We agreed that now is the time to accelerate efforts to reach a negotiated end to the war in #Afghanistan. All parties must lead to move the #AfghanPeaceProcess forward," the State Secretary tweeted.
During a phone call on Wednesday, Pompeo assured Ghani that there has been no change to President Donald Trump's South Asia strategy, including U.S. commitment to a conditions-based drawdown, the Department said in a statement.
Pompeo further informed Ghani that he had sent Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford and Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to Kabul to discuss in detail the next steps on the road to peace, the statement added.
On his part, Ghani welcomed the Secretary's engagement, and confirmed Afghanistan's commitment to working side-by-side with the United States to achieve a stable, peaceful, democratic Afghanistan that is not a center for terrorism, it read.
Khalilzad is currently holding talks with the Taliban to work out an agreement for withdrawal of the US troops and participation of the group in the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.