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Ghani’s deputy says of positive change in Kabul-Washington ties

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KABUL: First Vice President Amrullah Saleh says about a “positive and considerable” change between Afghanistan and US since Joe Biden took office as president of the US.

Saleh cited President Ashraf Ghani and the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin’s phone chat, where they discussed the vacuums of the US-Taliban peace deal.

“We consider the relations between Afghanistan and the US as fundamental and after the formation of Joe Biden administration, there are positive and considerable change in the relations,” he added.

The Presidential Palace said in a statement on Saturday that Ghani and Austin discussed the political, security and peace issues.

Shah Mahmood Miakhil, deputy defense minister said that three main issues were discussed between the two sides. “First, the US and NATO will continue supporting the Afghan security forces. In the meantime, the peace negotiations should make progress and third, the violence should be reduced in Afghanistan,” he added.

The US Secretary of Defense in a tweet assured Washington’s strong partnership with Kabul.

“We discussed mutual commitment to a strong U.S.-Afghan partnership and the importance of making urgent progress on the Afghan peace process. Looking forward to a productive partnership,” said Miakhil.

The Taliban signed a peace deal with the US last February in Qatar’s capital, Doha after more than 10 rounds of negotiations between the two sides. The deal included the withdrawal of American soldiers, intra-Afghan negotiations and Taliban’s guarantee of cutting ties with Al-Qaeda terrorist network, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. The US defense ministry earlier announced that the number of the American soldiers dropped to 2,500, the lowest since the US have entered in Afghanistan. The Taliban earlier warned that if the US didn’t remain committed, it would restart attacking the foreign forces in the country.

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