Acting US secretary of defense pays unannounced visit to Afghanistan

President Ashraf Ghani met with US Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller on Tuesday afternoon and discussed the peace process, the situation in Afghanistan and the region, and further support to the Afghan Security and Defense Forces, the Presidential Palace said.

According to the statement, Miller stressed the strategic relations between Afghanistan and the US, stating: “The United States will stand beside the government of Afghanistan to fight against terrorism.”

The US official also raised concerns about the high level of violence in the country and “the two sides emphasized a durable ceasefire” was needed.

He said the US has a steadfast commitment to Afghanistan, “especially in supporting its security and defense forces.”

Meanwhile, Ghani stated that the government has taken practical steps toward maintaining peace in Afghanistan and called on the Taliban to show their clear intentions (honesty) in this regard.

President Ghani stressed that US-Afghan relations is crucial to the joint fight against terrorism and termed the role of the United States essential in this regard.

Miller traveled to Afghanistan on Tuesday but due to security concerns, his arrival was not announced in advance.

While in Afghanistan, he also met with General Scott Miller, Commander Resolute Support Mission (RS) and US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), in order to gain his assessment of the overall security situation.