MONITORING (SW) - The U.S. has expressed deep regrets over President Ashraf Ghani and former Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah been unable to agree on an inclusive government to meet the challenges of governance, peace, and security, and provide for health and welfare of Afghan citizens.
This comes a day after the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met the two Afghan leaders in Kabul on Monday.
"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.
"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. We will also initiate a review of all of our programs and projects to identify additional reductions, and reconsider our pledges to future donor conferences for Afghanistan. We have made clear to the leadership that we will not back security operations that are politically motivated, nor support political leaders who order such operations or those who advocate for or support parallel government", it added.
On Tuesday, Pompeo met the Taliban's deputy head Mullah Baradar in Doha, Qatar, the group confirmed in a statement.
According to Suhail Shaheen, spokesman for the insurgents' Qatar office, the two men discussed ways and means for better implementation of the U.S. - Taliban peace deal and subsequent prisoners' swap in Afghanistan.
"... so the intra-Afgan negotiations begin and Afghans reach in line with the agreement the future political system including permanent peace and ceasefire. Foreign minister Pompeo assured the American forces sre withdrawing in accordance to the timetable", he said.