Washington [US], August 4 (ANI): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday condemned the ongoing attacks by the Taliban, and pledged to remain in close contact going forward, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
Blinken spoke with Ghani to reiterate the strong and enduring US commitment to Afghanistan.
Both the leaders emphasised the need to accelerate peace negotiations and achieve a political settlement that is inclusive, respects the rights of all Afghans, including women and minorities, allows the Afghan people to have a say in choosing their leaders, and prevents Afghan soil from being used to threaten the United States and its allies and partners.
"Blinken and Ghani condemned the ongoing Taliban attacks, which show little regard for human life and human rights, and deplored the loss of innocent Afghan lives and displacement of the civilian population," the statement stated.
Secretary Blinken and President Ghani pledged to remain in close contact going forward, it added.
Blinken also took to Twitter and said, "Spoke with @ashrafghani today to reiterate the strong and enduring US commitment to Afghanistan. We discussed the need to accelerate peace negotiations toward an inclusive political settlement that respects the rights of all Afghans, including women and girls."The talks come in wake of the drawdown by US troops from the war-torn country. Heavy clashes are taking place between Afghanistan forces and the Taliban in several Afghan cities.
Over the last few weeks, the Taliban have captured several districts in Afghanistan including Takhar, the country's northeastern province.
Nationwide, the Taliban controls 223 districts, with 116 contested and the government holding 68, according to the Long War Journal, whose calculations tally with CNN's estimates. It says 17 of 34 provincial capitals are directly threatened by the Taliban. (ANI)