U.S. Secretary of state mike pompeo traveled to afghanistan on monday for talks despite the global corona pandemic. There, after a short stay at the U.S. Embassy, he met the afghan president ashraf ghani.
"Both sides talked about the afghan peace process and next steps, regional consensus on afghan peace and current political and security issues," government spokesman sedik sedikki wrote on twitter.
Ghani’s election rival abdullah abdullah also received the u.S. Eagle minister at sepidar palace. They also talked about the peace process, but also about solutions to the domestic political crisis, it echoed on abdullah’s official facebook page.
Abdullah and ghani are still at odds over the outcome of last year’s presidential election. Ghani, whom the electoral commission had elected on 18. February with 50.64 percent of the vote, abdullah was deposed two days after taking office just under two weeks ago. Before that, both had had themselves declared president in ceremonies. Already after the presidential election in 2014, the rivals had been at loggerheads over the victory. As a compromise, a unity government was formed with U.S. Mediation months later.
On sunday, representatives of the afghan government and the militant islamist taliban spent two hours in a video conference discussing a planned prisoner exchange mediated by the united states and qatar. The prisoner swap has been a source of contention between the government and the taliban for days now. The latter had left on 29. In february, an agreement was signed with the USA that provides for a gradual withdrawal of US troops from afghanistan. At the same time, it should pave the way for intra-afghan peace talks. According to the agreement, the release of prisoners was a precondition for the talks. These were originally to have been approved on. March, but have not yet taken place.