Tillerson meets with Afghanistan president

Going for kill along Afghan border Pakistan US to remain in day-to-day contact

The State Department says Tillerson visited Bagram Air Base for talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other senior officials to outline for them the Trump administration's new South Asia policy. Although Pakistan's support is held crucial for the success of the latest American Afghan venture, he sounded pessimistic about the former's honest response.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a surprise trip to Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday and pledged to engage "moderate" Taliban officials to build peace in the country.

Tillerson will visit Islamabad on October 21 and said he would be telling Pakistani officials that their cooperation in fighting extremists and driving them from hideouts on their territory is imperative to a good relationship with the US. Two other positive development's hold out the possibility of a change in direction for the better: the death by drone inside Afghanistan of the notorious militant Omar Khalid Khorasani, the mastermind of the December 2014 Peshawar school massacre, and the rescue, also last week, of the kidnapped US-Canadian couple by Pakistani forces inside Pakistani territory. Islamabad and Rawalpindi urgently need to hammer out a unified, sound and clearly-defined strategy to confront the formidable challenges ahead.

His public schedule listed a morning meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Qatar that was later "canceled".

"We also want to work with regional partners to ensure that there are no threats in the region", he said. -Afghan commitment to achieve peace, stability and long-term prosperity in the country.

Gen. John Nicholson. Photo from Dept of Defense.

In a statement, Ghani vowed to follow through. "They don't want their children to fight forever".

Earlier Monday, the Taliban was dealt a blow when Afghan intelligence agents arrested one of its top leaders, Soor Gul, who is suspected to have orchestrated the suicide bombings. After Sunday's meeting, alongside Saudi Arabia's King Salman, Tillerson said it was time for Iranian-backed militias that had helped Baghdad defeat Islamic State to "go home".

The cabinet added that "nobody has the right to interfere in Iraqi affairs".

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