The US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has arrived in Kabul for the first time on Sunday, AP reported.
Esper said that the US can reduce its force in Afghanistan to 8,600 troops without hurting the counter terrorism fight against al-Qaida and Daesh, the AP reports. However, the withdrawal would happen as part of a peace agreement with the Taliban.
The US has around 14,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of a training and advising mission, and to conduct counter terrorism operations against insurgents.
Recently, Zalmay Khalilzad,the US peace envoy, said that a political settlement in Afghanistan will help reduce the burden of war and protect the gains made in Afghanistan.
Khalilzad was previously engaged in nine rounds of talks with the Taliban, has also said that a political settlement in Afghanistan will help protect theUnited States from terrorism.
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