US defence chief Austin makes unannounced Afghanistan go to

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Austin anticipated to fulfill President Ghani and different senior authorities officers.

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin has arrived in Kabul on his first journey to Afghanistan as Pentagon chief amid swirling questions on how lengthy American troops will stay within the nation.

Austin arrived in Kabul from India on Sunday, state-owned media reported. He was anticipated to fulfill President Ashraf Ghani and different senior authorities officers.

Final week, President Joe Biden stated it could be “powerful” for the US to fulfill a Could 1 deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

However he added that if the deadline, which is specified by an settlement between former President Donald Trump’s administration and the Taliban, is prolonged, it could not be by a “lot longer”.

On Friday, the Taliban warned of penalties if the US failed to fulfill the deadline.

Suhail Shaheen, a member of the Taliban negotiation workforce, advised reporters that if US troops keep past Could 1, “will probably be a form of violation of the settlement. That violation wouldn’t be from our facet … Their violation could have a response”.

Austin can be anticipated to fulfill Afghanistan’s new appearing defence minister, Normal Yasin Zia, who was appointed this week.

In a sharply worded letter to President Ghani earlier this month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated it was pressing to ascertain peace in Afghanistan.

He additionally warned that it’s seemingly the Taliban would make swift territorial beneficial properties if US and NATO troops withdrew.

The US spends $4bn yearly to maintain Afghanistan’s Nationwide Safety Forces.

Final month, NATO Secretary-Normal Jens Stoltenberg stated the alliance “will solely go away when the time is true” and when circumstances have been met.

“The principle concern is that Taliban has to scale back violence, Taliban has to barter in good religion and Taliban has to cease supporting worldwide terrorist teams like al-Qaeda,” Stoltenberg stated.

Austin has stated little on the file in regards to the ongoing deadlock. After a digital assembly of NATO defence ministers, Austin advised reporters that “our presence in Afghanistan is conditions-based, and Taliban has to fulfill their commitments”.