26 May 2020

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President Ghani meets US Defense Secretary

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Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met yesterday with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, heading a US high-ranking delegation.

In the meeting held at presidential palace, both sides discussed security situation in Afghanistan and region, war on terror and cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

First, US Defense Secretary extended his country’s condolence to President Ghani and the people of Afghanistan over terrorist attacks in 209th Shaheen corps, saying that United States was committed to continued cooperation with Afghanistan and the cowardly attack on ANA soldiers while praying in mosque was a sign of weakness and lack of terrorists’ adherence to humanity.

“Our mission has not ended so far in Afghanistan and they will keep standing beside the government and people Afghanistan and in consideration to importance of Afghanistan we have dispatched our experienced advisors to the country”, Mattis said, adding that his country’s presence in Afghanistan was for a good aim and we should coordinate our diplomacy and military affairs with each other.

US Defense Secretary further said, “We perceive your problems, but steps taken regarding to reforms, good governance and counter corruption are touchable.”

Afterwards, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani while praising the US government for its continued support and cooperation with Afghanistan recalled three key challenges as terrorism, narcotics and corruption, asserting that war in Afghanistan was not a civil war, but Afghan defense and security forces were in front line for war on international terrorism.  He asserted that terrorists wanted to use Afghanistan soil against others and casualties of Taliban and other terrorist groups have increased during the past six months comparing to the past 15 years.

The country’s President told US defense secretary to convey his good wishes to President Donald Trump.

Mohammad Asharaf Ghani said bringing reforms and counter corruption were their responsibility and commitment, adding that we should accept terrorism as common threat to the world and asked for joint counter terrorism effort.

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