British defense secretary visits Kabul, pledges support, urges Taliban to join peace talks

By REUTERS
June 2, 2016 19:52

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon pledged to continue support for Afghanistan during a surprise visit to Kabul on Thursday.

Fallon met with Afghani Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in the capital, where he also urged the Taliban to join peace talks.

"I have come to Kabul to underline the United Kingdom's decision to continue our support for Afghanistan beyond the end of next year. In the run up to the Warsaw summit and the Brussels conference, we think it is important to make clear that support will continue," British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said.

Britain has hundreds of troops, as part of the NATO training and advising mission, in Afghanistan, however they have ended their combat mission in the southern Helmand provinces

"It is up now to the Taliban, to the moderate elements of the Taliban, to face the future of Afghanistan and to return to talks and to the reconciliation that is on offer. But if they don't do that they should be in no doubt about the resolve of the international community and in particular of Britain in seeing through the challenge that is being faced here," Fallon added.



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