US Secretary of State Pompeo Mediates Between Two Afghan Presidents
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unexpectedly left for Afghanistan. He tries to find a compromise between the two self-declared presidents Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah to save the peace agreement between the US and the Taliban rebels.
Pompeo will speak to the two presidents Ghani and Abdullah in Afghanistan. They have previously declared themselves the winner of last year’s presidential election and have each taken the oath.
The US minister first talks to Ghani and Abdullah separately and then brings them together. The two may still talk privately afterwards.
Pompeo especially wants to break the current stalemate between the two presidents, but so far none of them wants to admit it. The US and United Nations envoys were only present at the swearing-in of Ashraf Ghani, and that is an acknowledgement.
In 2014, both also claimed victory in the elections. At that time, then US minister John Kerry was able to get a compromise. Ghani became President and Abdullah Head of Government in a difficult cohabitation.
It remains to be seen whether Pompeo can do this. He can exert considerable pressure. The US annually provides billions of dollars in military and economic aid to Afghanistan, which relies on foreign assistance to three-quarters of its expenditure.