“This is an important year for Afghanistan and I’m optimistic that the country is making great strides on the road to peace and development,” said Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan during his recent trip to Kabul.
He applauded government reforms aimed at improving governance, security, and inclusiveness.
“I’m heartened by the progress Afghanistan has made in so many areas,” he said.“I’d like to congratulate the government of Afghanistan on the successes they have achieved thus far in implementing the Afghanistan Compact since it was launched in August of 2017.”
The Compact is an Afghan-led initiative meant to demonstrate the government’s commitment to creating a peaceful, stable, and prosperous society. The initiative was a key consideration for the United States when developing the U.S. South Asia Policy, launched by President Trump in August of last year.
“We’ve already seen a number of reforms including crack-downs on corruption throughout the government, an application of the rule of law by jailing a number of high-ranking officials for corruption...Implementation of these reforms carries with it opportunities to improve the delivery of government services, stem official corruption and prepare for secure national elections,” he said.
Deputy Secretary Sullivan also praised the Afghan government’s plan to improve the country’s security by bringing 80 percent of Afghanistan’s territory under government control. Nonetheless, the United States firmly believes that ultimately, the peace and security of Afghanistan will not be determined only on the battlefield, but through peace talks.
“We are prepared for the long run, in partnership with the Afghan government, to keep the pressure on the Taliban, to convince them that there isn’t a military solution, and that ultimately a peaceful resolution of this conflict is what’s ultimately going to attain,” said Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.
“We support Afghanistan’s progress with our South Asia Strategy, which sends a clear message that the Taliban cannot wait us out because our commitment to Afghanistan is not based on a timeline.We have an enduring partnership and we’ll work with the Afghan government to ensure that Afghanistan is able to prevent terrorists from exploiting its territory to threaten the world.”