US reduces assistance to Afghanistan over political impasse

The US has decided to reduce assistance to Afghanistan by $1 billion this year due to the Afghan leadership's failure to form an inclusive government, the Stat Department announced

Mar 24, 2020
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Kabul: The US has decided to reduce assistance to Afghanistan by $1 billion this year due to the Afghan leadership's failure to form an inclusive government, the Stat Department announced.

In a statement on Monday, the Department said that the US "deeply regrets" that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and former Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah had informed US Secretary of State Pompeo, who made a surprise visit to Kabul, that they could not agree on an inclusive government, reports Xinhua news agency.

"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," said the statement, calling the Afghan leadership's failure as "a direct threat to US national interest".

"Should Afghan leaders choose to form an inclusive government that can provide security and participate in the peace process, the US is prepared to support these efforts and revisit the reviews initiated today," the statement added.