Pompeo Arrives in Kabul on a Diplomatic Rescue Mission
Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, arrived in Kabul on Monday for an unannounced diplomatic rescue mission to Afghanistan. Pompeo visited Afghanistan for one day, to bridge a political impasse that has interfered with US efforts to withdraw all of its troops from the country. Pompeo also looks to promote previous negotiations with the Taliban that were stalled after the Trump administration signed a deal with the militant group that set a timeline for the US to withdraw all military presence in the country.
The agreement has been stalled due to a rift between the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his political rival Abdullah Abdullah, who is currently undertaking an attempt to set up a parallel government in the city of Kabul. Last month, the Trump administration agreed to pull all forces out of Afghanistan by July 2021 as long as the Taliban ensures that Afghanistan will not be used as a terrorist safe haven for planning attacks against the US. However, the terms of the agreement have not gone so smoothly as the Afghan government has resisted US pressure to release thousands of Taliban prisoners as was promised in the deal.