Mike Pompeo slashes aid to Afghanistan

Updated: Mar 25, 2020, 08:37 IST | Agencies | Doha

Pompeo said that the US was immediately reducing $1 billion in aid and would pull another $1 billion in 2021. He said the US will consider further cuts, including withdrawing support at any future donor conference

Mike Pompeo. File pic/AFP
Mike Pompeo. File pic/AFP

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday slashed aid to Afghanistan's government after a mission to Kabul failed to bridge a divide between feuding leaders as he moved forward with the Taliban on a deal to pull troops.

Pompeo made the surprise trip in hopes of reviving a landmark US accord with the Taliban to end America's longest war and, stopping in Qatar on his way back, became the highest-ranking US official ever to meet the Islamist insurgents. In stark criticism of a government-backed for nearly two decades by the United States, Pompeo voiced disappointment that President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah could not bridge their differences when he met them in Kabul.

"Their failure has harmed US-Afghan relations and, sadly, dishonours those Afghan, Americans and Coalition partners who have sacrificed their lives and treasure in the struggle to build a new future for this country," Pompeo said in a statement. Pompeo said that the US was immediately reducing $1 billion in aid and would pull another $1 billion in 2021. He said the US will consider further cuts, including withdrawing support at any future donor conference.

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