US slashes aid to Afghanistan after Pompeo trip to Kabul

Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Kabul. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 24 March 2020

US slashes aid to Afghanistan after Pompeo trip to Kabul

  • Pompeo slammed Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah for being unable to work together

KABUL, Afghanistan: The Trump administration is slashing assistance to Afghanistan and threatening further reductions in all forms of cooperation after the country’s rival leaders failed to agree on forming a new government.
The announcement came from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday after he made an unannounced visit to Kabul to meet with Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah. Each has declared himself president of the country after disputed elections last year.
In an unusually harsh statement, Pompeo slammed the two men for being unable to work together and threatening a potential peace deal that could end America’s longest-running conflict.
“The United States deeply regrets that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and former Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have informed Secretary Pompeo that they have been unable to agree on an inclusive government that can meet the challenges of governance, peace, and security, and provide for the health and welfare of Afghan citizens,” he said.
Pompeo said the US was “disappointed” in both men and their conduct, which he said had “harmed US-Afghan relations and, sadly, dishonors those Afghan, American, and coalition partners who have sacrificed their lives and treasure in the struggle to build a new future for this country.”


Cadets among 22 dead in Ukraine military plane crash

Updated 25 September 2020

Cadets among 22 dead in Ukraine military plane crash

  • The transport plane was carrying a total of 28 passengers when it crashed, including 21 military students and seven crew
  • The town of Chuhuiv, where the crash occurred, is 100 kilometers west of the front line with the pro-Russian separatists

KIEV: At least 22 people including military cadets were killed and two others seriously injured Friday when a Ukranian air force plane crashed near Kharkiv in the east of the country, the interior ministry said.
“Twenty-two people died,” Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko told AFP, adding that “the search for two other people is continuing.”
The transport plane was carrying a total of 28 passengers when it crashed, including 21 military students and seven crew, he said.
“It’s a shock,” he added. “At the moment it’s impossible to establish the cause” of the crash.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he would travel to the region on Saturday.
“We are urgently creating a commission to investigate all the circumstances and causes of the tragedy,” he wrote on Facebook.
The Antonov-26 transport aircraft crashed at around 8:50 p.m. local time (17:50 GMT), two kilometers (1 mile) from the Chuhuiv military air base, the emergency services said.
The plane caught fire after the crash and was extingushed after one hour.
The town of Chuhuiv is around 30 kilometers southeast of Kharkiv and 100 kilometers west of the front line with the pro-Russian separatists.