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Rex Tillerson makes unannounced trip to Afghanistan

Oct. 23 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made an unannounced trip to Kabul on Monday and met with Afghanistan‘s President Ashraf Ghani.

The two leaders discussed a new U.S. strategy for South Asia to promote “peace, stability, and long-term prosperity” in the country, a statement from the American Embassy in Afghanistan said.

“The secretary stated that the new U.S. strategy for South Asia makes clear the United States’ commitment to working with the government of Afghanistan and with partners across the region to achieve peace in Afghanistan and deny safe havens to terrorists who threaten that goal,” the statement said.

Ghani, according to the statement, “reiterated his support for the new U.S. strategy and emphasized his government’s commitment to reforms aimed at ensuring the safety, security and well-being of all Afghans.”

The visit comes as part of a weeklong visit for Tillerson to parts of the Middle East, South Asia and Europe. Tillerson stopped in Afghanistan on his way to his scheduled visit to Pakistan.

Tillerson is expected to have a stronger tone in Pakistan with interim Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi, after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Pakistan with sanctions for allegedly offering “safe havens” to terrorists.

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