The president of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, and other U.S. congressmen visited Afghanistan on Saturday and met there with Afghan President Ashraf Gani to analyze the situation after the failure of the dialogue between Washington and the Taliban.
Pelosi’s office announced in a statement the surprise visit to Kabul of the Democratic leader, accompanied by a dozen legislators from both parties, who this Saturday had traveled to Jordan to receive information on the situation in Syria after the Turkish offensive.
“(In Kabul) We met with Afghan President Ashraf Gani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and other senior Afghan officials to discuss security issues, how to improve governance and economic development,” Pelosi said in the statement.
“We emphasize the central importance of fighting corruption, which threatens the country’s security and undermines prospects for a stable and prosperous future for Afghans. And we underscore that Afghan women should be at the table for reconciliation talks,” he added.
The delegation also met with U.S. Ambassador in Kabul John Bass to catch up on “reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, who have been responsible for violent attacks in Afghanistan,” and the postponement of the announcement of preliminary election results in the country.
Legislators met in Kabul with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who was also visiting, and “briefly” met with him, as well as visiting U.S. troops at Camp Morehead and meeting with Afghan civil society representatives, “including women”.
“While Afghan women have made some progress on some issues, more work is needed to ensure their safety and that there are lasting educational and economic opportunities for women and girls in Afghanistan,” Pelosi said.
The United States and the Taliban held nine rounds of negotiations in Doha over the past year, in which a draft agreement had already been reached, but U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly cancelled these talks last month after an attack in Kabul in which an American was killed.
Since the end of NATO’s combat mission in January 2015, the United States has maintained a contingent in Afghanistan within the framework of the new allied mission of advising Afghan troops and another in “anti-terrorist” tasks.
NATO has stopped providing figures on the number of troops from each country that is part of its mission, but it is estimated that Washington has between 5,000 and 10,000 soldiers in the Central Asian country.
Before visiting Kabul, Pelosi and his delegation had met this Saturday in Jordan with King Abdullah II and part of the Jordanian government.
The democrat leader assured that this meeting focused on “the impact on regional stability” of the Turkish offensive in Syria and “the dangerous door that has been opened to the Islamic State (EI), Iran and Russia”.