İrem GÖL -TDO- The US has said that it will cut its aid to Afghanistan by $1bn, blaming the failure of President Ashraf Ghani and his main political rival, Abdullah Abdullah, to agree on a unity government for talks with the Taliban. A further $1bn could be cut in 2021, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said after a surprise visit to Kabul on Monday failed to persuade the two men to make a deal. Pompeo suggested that the aid could be restored if they changed their minds.
Pompeo said: “Their failure has harmed US-Afghan relations and, sadly, dishonours those Afghan, Americans and coalition partners who have sacrifices their lives and treasure in the struggle to build a new future for this country. Because this leadership failure poses a direct threat to US national interests, effective immediately the US 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.” The secretary of state warned that an array of other US projects, as well as US pledges at donor conferences, would come under review.