US Secretary of State Pompeo makes surprise visit to Kabul


KABUL -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Kabul Monday (July 9) for talks with Afghan leaders, an Afghan official said, amid renewed optimism for peace in the war-weary country.

The official confirmed Pompeo's arrival in Kabul, his first trip to Afghanistan since he was sworn in as America's top diplomat in April, on the condition of anonymity.

Secretary Pompeo appeared in a joint press conference with President Ashraf Ghani later on Monday.

The visit follows an unprecedented ceasefire during Eid last month, which was marked by spontaneous street celebrations involving Afghan security forces and Taliban militants.

Pompeo is on a round-the-world diplomatic mission that will take him to Brussels and a key NATO summit on July 11-12.

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