CM – Afghanistan: Blinken speaks to Ashraf Ghani, discusses efforts to reduce violence

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This is the second phone call between Blinken and Ashraf Ghani in the last two days.

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke on the phone with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday about the urgency of ongoing diplomatic and political efforts to contain the violence.

In a tweet, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Blinken had emphasized the United States’ commitment to a strong diplomatic and security relationship with the Afghan government.

« Today Foreign Minister Antony J Blinken spoke to the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani about the developments in Afghanistan.

. @ SecBlinken spoke to @ashrafghani about the security situation in Afghanistan and urgent diplomatic and political efforts to reduce violence. https://t.co/FKsKPG65ZT

« The Secretary of State emphasized the United States’ commitment to strong diplomatic and security relations with the Afghan government and our continued support for the Afghan people, » he added.

The talks come hours after the Taliban wrested control of Afghanistan’s fourth largest city, Mazar-i-Sharif.

With the capture of Mazar-i-Sharif, the terrorists seemed on the verge of a complete takeover of the country.

This is the second phone call between Blinken and Ashraf Ghani in the last two days.

Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to Afghan President Ghani on Friday and discussed the current security situation in the country and US plans to reduce America’s civilian footprint in Kabul.

The Taliban Blitz started in May, but the terrorists managed to capture more than half of the Afghan provincial capitals in just over a week.

The terrorists are now effectively controlling the southern, western and northern regions of the country – in the process of encircling the capital Kabul as they continue their swift military offensive.

The Taliban captured Mazar-i-Sharif, the last blocked city in the north, barely an hour after breaking the front lines on the outskirts.

The loss of the North – once the center of resistance to the insurgents’ seizure of power in 1996 – to the Taliban was a devastating blow to the morale of a panic-stricken country.

By Saturday evening, 20 of the 34 provincial capitals of Afghanistan were in the hands of the Taliban, including Mazar-i-Sharif, the economic engine of the government in the north.

The Taliban captured Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, on Friday morning, just hours after conquering Herat, a cultural center in the west, and Kandahar, the second largest city in Afghanistan.

They tumbled city after city at breakneck speed this week, leaving only two major urban centers, including the capital, Kabul, in the hands of the government.

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