The State Department announced that “the U.S. deeply regrets that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and former Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have informed Secretary Pompeo that they have been unable to agree on an inclusive government… The U.S. is disappointed in them and what their conduct means for Afghanistan and our shared interests”. Asserting that “this leadership failure poses a direct threat to U.S. national interests”, Secretary Pompeo said that “the U.S. government will initiate a review of the scope of our cooperation with Afghanistan. Among other steps, we are today announcing a responsible adjustment to our spending in Afghanistan and immediately reducing assistance by $1 billion this year. We are prepared to reduce by another $1 billion in 2021”. Underscoring that “we are proceeding with the conditions-based withdrawal of our forces in accordance with the U.S.-Taliban agreement”, the statement went on to affirm that “should Afghan leaders choose to form an inclusive government that can provide security and participate in the peace process, the U.S. is prepared to support these efforts and revisit the reviews initiated today… To illustrate America’s steadfast commitment to the Afghan people, the U.S. will be providing $15 million in assistance to help combat the spread of the coronavirus in Afghanistan”.
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