The US has said it will cut its aid to Afghanistan by $1bn, blaming the failure of President Ashraf Ghani and his main political rival, Abdullah Abdullah, to agree on a unity government for talks with the Taliban, The Guardian reports.
A further $1bn could be cut in 2021, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said after a surprise visit to Kabul on Monday failed to persuade the two men to make a deal. Pompeo suggested the aid could be restored if they changed their minds.
“The United States is disappointed in them and what their conduct means for Afghanistan and our shared interests,” Pompeo said in a sharply written statement. “Their failure has harmed US-Afghan relations and, sadly, dishonours those Afghan, Americans, and coalition partners who have sacrificed their lives and treasure in the struggle to build a new future for this country.