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Mattis Makes Unannounced Visit To Afghanistan

James Mattis, the US Defense Secretary, arrived in Kabul for an unannounced visit on Friday, US media reported.

Mattis and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were meeting with Army Gen. Scott Miller, the new commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, NBC News reported.

They were to discuss progress on peace talks with the Taliban, despite a deteriorating security situation in the country. 

Mattis is scheduled to conduct a town hall meeting with troops, attend a weekly memorial service and meet with senior Afghan leaders, officials said as quoted by NBC News. 

Miller assumed command of NATO’s Resolute Support forces in Afghanistan on Sunday.

Speaking with reporters this week, Mattis said he was hopeful about peace talks with the Taliban.

“Right now, we have more indications that reconciliation is no longer just a shimmer out there, no longer just a mirage,” Mattis said.

“It now has some framework. There's some open lines of communication,” he added.

This comes after last month a top US State Department official met with Taliban officials in Qatar to lay the groundwork for broader peace talks.

The US government has pointed toward the Taliban's accepting a temporary truce in June as a sign of why the talks should be viewed with hope.

“The most important work that has to be done is beginning the political process and reconciliation,” Dunford told reporters traveling with him, as quoted in NBC News report. 

“What we are trying to do in the military dimension is convince the Taliban that they cannot win on the battlefield and that they must engage in a peace process,” Dunford said. 

Afghanistan

Mattis Makes Unannounced Visit To Afghanistan

Mattis will conduct a town hall meeting with US troops, attend a weekly memorial service and will meet with senior Afghan officials.

Thumbnail

James Mattis, the US Defense Secretary, arrived in Kabul for an unannounced visit on Friday, US media reported.

Mattis and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were meeting with Army Gen. Scott Miller, the new commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, NBC News reported.

They were to discuss progress on peace talks with the Taliban, despite a deteriorating security situation in the country. 

Mattis is scheduled to conduct a town hall meeting with troops, attend a weekly memorial service and meet with senior Afghan leaders, officials said as quoted by NBC News. 

Miller assumed command of NATO’s Resolute Support forces in Afghanistan on Sunday.

Speaking with reporters this week, Mattis said he was hopeful about peace talks with the Taliban.

“Right now, we have more indications that reconciliation is no longer just a shimmer out there, no longer just a mirage,” Mattis said.

“It now has some framework. There's some open lines of communication,” he added.

This comes after last month a top US State Department official met with Taliban officials in Qatar to lay the groundwork for broader peace talks.

The US government has pointed toward the Taliban's accepting a temporary truce in June as a sign of why the talks should be viewed with hope.

“The most important work that has to be done is beginning the political process and reconciliation,” Dunford told reporters traveling with him, as quoted in NBC News report. 

“What we are trying to do in the military dimension is convince the Taliban that they cannot win on the battlefield and that they must engage in a peace process,” Dunford said. 

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