Acting Pentagon Chief Patrick Shanahan arrives in Afghanistan on a surprise visit

Last Updated: Feb 11 2019 13:43

According to the officials, Shanahan will meet President Ashraf Ghani, whose government was not part of major talks between US and Taliban officials last month that negotiators hope could bring a breakthrough in the grinding 17-year conflict.

Shanahan told reporters, "It's important that the Afghan government is involved in discussions regarding Afghanistan,"

The Afghans have to decide what Afghanistan looks like in the future. It's not about the US, it's about Afghanistan."

The US diplomat leading the talks has expressed hope at finding a deal before Afghan presidential elections scheduled for July.

The US is expected to resume talks with Taliban officials in Doha, where the insurgents have their political office, on February 25.