KABUL (Pajhwok): Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller, who arrived in Kabul on a surprise visit, on Tuesday called for a permanent ceasefire between the government and the Taliban during talks with President Ashraf Ghani.
A statement from the Presidential Palace said President Ashraf Ghani met with the acting US Secretary of Defense, who arrived in Kabul this afternoon with a high-level delegation.
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh and a number of other government officials were also present at the meeting that took place at the Presidential Palace.
The two sides discussed the peace process, the situation in Afghanistan and the region and the need for more support for the Afghan security and defense forces.
Miller emphasized the need to strengthen strategic partnership between Afghanistan and the United States and said his country would stand by the government and people of Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism.
The Acting Secretary of Defense expressed concern over the escalation of violence in Afghanistan and called for a lasting ceasefire between the two sides.
He added that the United States remains committed to supporting Afghanistan, especially its security and defense forces.
President Ghani thanked the United States for its support and cooperation with Afghanistan in various fields, saying that relations between the two countries were strong and based on quality, not quantity, and would always be lasting.
On the peace process, he said that the Afghan government has taken practical steps to ensure peace and the other side should also show its clear intention in this regard.
Ghani stressed the importance of US-Afghan relations in the joint fight against terrorism and the role of the United States in this regard.
This is the third high-ranking US official to visit Afghanistan in the past week to discuss peace and other issues with President Ghani.