Readout of Secretary James N. Mattis' Meeting with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah
Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis met with President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah yesterday at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. They discussed the South Asia strategy and United States’ commitment to Afghanistan.
Secretary Mattis praised Ghani’s recent offer to negotiate with the Taliban without preconditions. He noted Ghani’s diplomatic approach achieved a level of international support not possible with military action alone. Secretary Mattis offered his full support to the Afghan-led reconciliation process, aimed at achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan.
Secretary Mattis emphasized that the recent peace offer does not eliminate the need for offensive operations against the Taliban, and noted the importance of continued Afghan National Defense and Security Forces progress on the battlefield.
President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah thanked the United States and coalition partners for their ongoing support and past sacrifices. They reaffirmed their commitment to forge a durable peace alongside regional and international partners. The two Afghan leaders also reinforced that the recent Taliban peace offer without preconditions was genuine, and they are ready to embrace all who are willing to reconcile.