U.S. to reduce Afghan aid by $1 billion after Pompeo fails to break impasse

U.S. to reduce Afghan aid by $1 billion after Pompeo fails to break impasse

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced a $1 billion cut in U.S. aid to Afghanistan after he failed to convince Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his political foe to end a feud that has helped jeopardize a U.S.-led peace effort, Trend reports citing Reuters.

The United States also is prepared to cut 2021 assistance by the same amount and is conducting “a review of all of our programs and projects to identify additional reductions, and reconsider our pledges to future donor conferences for Afghanistan,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo’s statement came as he flew home from a fruitless day-long effort in Kabul to end competing claims to the presidency by Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah and win their agreement to form “an inclusive government.”

The harshly worded announcement at the end of the mission he undertook despite the spreading global coronavirus pandemic underscored how badly stalled the U.S.-led effort to end America’s longest war and decades of strife in Afghanistan has become.

The United States “deeply regrets” that Ghani and Abdullah were “unable to agree on an inclusive government,” said Pompeo, adding that “their failure has harmed U.S.-Afghan relations and, sadly, dishonors those Afghan, Americans, and Coalition partners who have sacrificed their lives and treasure.”

“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,” he said. “We will also initiate a review of all of our programs and projects to identify additional reductions.”

On his way back to Washington, Pompeo landed at a military base in Qatar for a 75-minute meeting with Taliban officials, including their top negotiator, Mullah Baradar Akhund.

Speaking to reporters after departing Qatar, Pompeo declined to detail how the $1 billion in aid cuts would be apportioned or whether he set a deadline for Ghani and Abdullah, who had served as the country’s chief executive, to settle their dispute.

But he indicated that the aid cut could be cancelled if they came to an agreement.

“We are hopeful, frankly, that they will get their act together and we won’t have to do it. But we’re prepared to do that,” he said.

In the meantime, he said, the United States would continue backing Afghan security forces while continuing a phased “conditions-based” troop withdrawal as specified in a deal signed with the Taliban in Doha on Feb. 29.

He said that despite ongoing fighting, the Taliban largely have fulfilled a commitment to reduce violence and were working to form a team for intra-Afghan peace talks.

Pompeo’s mission came nearly a month after his last visit to Doha for the signing of the Feb. 29 deal with Taliban. Ghani’s government was not a party to the agreement.

The agreement was to have been followed by the opening by March 10 of negotiations on a political settlement to decades of strife between the insurgents and a delegation of Afghans that would include government officials.

But the process stalled over a Taliban demand for the release by Kabul of 5,000 prisoners and the feud between Ghani and Abdullah, both of whom claimed the presidency following a disputed September election marred by allegations of fraud.

While in Kabul, Pompeo met with Ghani and Abdullah, both separately and together.

Absent from the meetings was the chief U.S. negotiator, U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-born veteran diplomat. It was not immediately known why Khalilzad was not included.

A senior State Department official, speaking before the meetings ended, said the purpose of Pompeo’s visit was to try to mediate a solution between the two men.

“The fear is that unless this crisis gets resolved ... soon, that could affect the peace process ... our agreement with the Talibs could be put at risk,” the official said.

A spokesman for Ghani declined to comment, saying details of the meetings had not yet been released.

Omid Maisam, a spokesman for Abdullah, said that if there were more meetings a solution was “not impossible” and that they wanted a peaceful end to the crisis.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Six servicemen returned by Azerbaijan arrested in Armenia
Six servicemen returned by Azerbaijan arrested in Armenia
EU welcomes welcomes willingness of Armenia and Turkey to work on normalization of their relations
EU welcomes welcomes willingness of Armenia and Turkey to work on normalization of their relations
Armenia creates working group for construction of section of Zangezur corridor
Armenia creates working group for construction of section of Zangezur corridor
Loading Bars
Latest
SOFAZ sees significant increase in revenues from oil & gas agreements
Georgia reveals its major motor oil supplying countries
Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund sees increase in assets
Growth of Azerbaijan's non-oil sector reaches all-time high
Chief of General Staff of Azerbaijani Army meets with Bulgarian delegation (PHOTO)
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds
FAO eyes another Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture project in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan to see increase in asylum seekers - deputy chairman of Supreme Court
Central Bank of Azerbaijan works consistently to curb inflation
Iran unveils amount of honey gathered countrywide
Kazakhstan’s Atyrau Oil Refinery to buy gaseous nitrogen via tender
Kazakhstan's economic growth is expected to accelerate in 2022 - Renaissance Capital
New military facilities commissioned in Azerbaijani liberated territories (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan increases marketable oil and gas production
Russia starts manufacturing reactor for Kudankulam nuclear power plant
Number of foreigners receives labour permits in Azerbaijan - State Migration Service
Azerbaijan eyes to raise quota for issuing labor permits to foreigners this year - State Migration Service
India at UNSC: Looking forward to Sudan's successful completion of transition phase
Uzbekistan notes growth in macroeconomic indicators
Jaishankar speaks with EU counterpart, discusses Afghanistan, Myanmar
OPEC expects Azerbaijan to boost oil output in 2022
UK regulator fines Mastercard, others for prepaid cards cartel
PM Modi: Best time to invest in India, multilateral institutions need reforms
Ministry unveils number of companies with Russian capital in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani citizens without COVID-19 passports won't be allowed to buy tickets for bus trips to liberated lands
Azerbaijan creates website for trips to liberated Karabakh
Iran strikes deal with Romania for export of technical, engineering services
No mine threat in Azerbaijan's Shusha - ANAMA
Gas transportation through South Caucasus Pipeline increases
Azerbaijan plans to demine tens of thousands of hectares of liberated territories - ANAMA
USAID’s support can increase foreign direct investment in Turkmenistan - official
UNHCR thanks Azerbaijan
Indian Prime Minister delivers ‘State of World’ special address at World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda
Largest philanthropist not only in Azerbaijan, but also in South Caucasus is Heydar Aliyev Foundation - President Ilham Aliyev
Kazakhstan discloses systematic measures to reduce inflation rate
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan's oil transportation from Azerbaijan down
I was offered few alternative locations for statue, and I chose this place, because it is place worthy of name of Zeynalabdin Taghiyev - president
Kazakhstan's President Tokayev to be elected chairman of Nur Otan party soon - First President of Kazakhstan
By sending hundreds of students to Russia and Europe, Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev clearly thought about future - President Ilham Aliyev
As result of Heydar Aliyev Foundation's activities, Azerbaijan is better known, and it was this factor that helped us during Second Karabakh War - President Ilham Aliyev
Today, Heydar Aliyev Foundation faces new tasks - President Ilham Aliyev
Sinopec gets first LNG cargo under new deal with Qatar
Brent to breach $100/bbl as demand weathers virus surge- Goldman Sachs
Azerbaijan ranks among top aviation fuel exporters to Georgia
I'm on deserved rest in capital and haven't left anywhere - first president of Kazakhstan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 18
Russia documents 31,252 daily COVID-19 cases, highest number since December 6
USAID supports Turkmen government and local partners to improve securities market
Websites that will make the work of Graphic Designers easier
UNHCR discloses number of Azerbaijani refugees provided with legal assistance before Second Karabakh War (PHOTO)
Production of Iran's Khorasan Steel Company increases
National Iranian Oil Company to take steps on development of North Pars gas field
Azerbaijan fils lawsuits against Armenia to European Court of Human Rights
Non-OPEC crude oil supply to continue upward trend by 2023
Visitors from Azerbaijan to Georgia spend less in 2021 - NBG
Europe to see increase in jet fuel demand – JP Morgan
Iran’s NISOC announces date for launch of extraction from Kish gas field
Israel sticks with 4th vaccine shot, sees Omicron wave waning in a week
Uzbek Central Bank shares data on volume of reserve assets and gold reserves
Azerbaijani public representatives send appeal to French President
Iran's economic growth improves - CBI
Oil demand set to rise by 2023, says JP Morgan
Central Bank of Iran discloses amount of loans issued for agricultural sector
Azerbaijan increases wine imports from Georgia
Epsilon obtains industrial gas inflow from new well at field in Uzbekistan
AFAB Cataract Campaigns on Int’l Day of Elderly in Niger (FOTO)
JP Morgan expects Azerbaijan’s oil output to decline in 2022-2023
Amount of loans issued by Iranian banks soars
NIOC intends to extract gas from Iran-Saudi Arabia joint Farzad B gas field
Azerbaijani FM leaves for Austria on working visit
Iran sees increase in trade turnover with ECO member states
UAE bourses open in red after Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi
Time of market test for Greece-North Macedonia gas pipeline announced
Azerbaijan holding talks on regular flights to Fuzuli Int’l Airport – deputy minister
Georgia reveals wine export growth dynamics in strategic markets
Azerbaijan reveals procedure of buying tickets for bus trips to liberated lands
Trips to Azerbaijan's liberated areas on all routes to be carried out in one day - ministry
At first stage only Azerbaijani citizens allowed to visit Karabakh – deputy minister
Citizens can visit liberated districts of Azerbaijan once a year - agency (PHOTO)
Police cars to accompany passenger buses through Azerbaijani liberated lands
Azerbaijan discloses cost of bus trips to liberated areas (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan to launch regular bus trips to Karabakh soon
Kazakhstan to keep inflation in energy sector within set borders - ministry
President Ilham Aliyev unveils monument to philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev in Baku (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iran’s NIOC interested in increasing gas exports
Azerbaijan discloses loans of banks being liquidated by Deposit Insurance Fund
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan affirm commitment to Afghanistan
Azerbaijani Express-C company’s bonds included in listing of Baku Stock Exchange
Azerbaijan Airlines to present new “Azal Club” loyalty program
Kazakhstan to amend supply chain of petroleum products
2021 enters Azerbaijani history as year of social reforms - Analysis
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan see significant increase in mutual trade
Georgia’s trade turnover figures grow – TBC Capital
2022 budget for Ighdir-Nakhchivan gas pipeline disclosed
Georgia publishes COVID-19 data for January 18
Azerbaijan, Turkey discuss co-op on restoration projects in Karabakh
Uzbekistan shares domestic COVID-19 data for January 17
New school built in Azerbaijan's Gazakh on Heydar Aliyev Foundation's initiative (PHOTO)
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on January 18
Kazakh Gas Processing Plant opens tender to buy spares for pumps
All news