House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a bipartisan congressional visit to Afghanistan on Sunday, her office said in a statement.
Pelosi and the delegation met with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and “briefly compared notes” with Secretary Mark Esper, also in Kabul.
The delegation met with General Scott Miller, commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, as well as top diplomats, senior Afghan government officials, and civil society leaders, the statement said.
“Our delegation received briefings from Ambassador John Bass and other top diplomats on reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, which has been responsible for violent attacks in Afghanistan,” said Speaker Pelosi’s statement. “We also heard more about the still-pending status of results from the Afghanistan presidential election in September, which we all hope will be available soon.”
The delegation, in meetings with Ghani and Abdullah, discussed security issues and improving governance and economic development with Afghanistan.
“Our delegation emphasized the central importance of combating the corruption which endangers security and undermines the Afghan people’s ability to achieve a stable and prosperous future. We underscored that the women of Afghanistan must be at the table for reconciliation talks,” the statement said.
The Pelosi-led delegation met with Afghan civil society leaders and Afghan women, and concluded:
“While Afghan women have made some progress in some areas, more work is needed to ensure their security and durable economic and educational opportunities for women and girls in Afghanistan,” the statement said.
The delegation also traveled to Camp Morehead to meet with Resolute Support Mission troops, and Pelosi praised the courage of US troops and diplomats on the front lines.
The US has approximately 14,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of a training and advising mission, and to conduct counterterrorism operations against insurgents.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told the AP on Sunday that the number of US troops in Afghanistan could be reduced to 8,600—and counterterrorist operations could be maintained—but the reduction would have to coincide with a peace agreement.