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美国国防部长马蒂斯突访喀布尔 US Defense Chief Arrives in Afghanistan on Surprise Visit





U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says small factions of Taliban forces fighting the U.S.-backed Afghan government forces have expressed an interest in negotiating an end to the 16-year war.

Mattis made the suggestion Tuesday before arriving in Kabul on an unannounced visit to discuss President Ashraf Ghani's plan to open peace talks with the Taliban. The former Marine general said it "may be a bridge too far" to expect the Islamic insurgent force to sit down at the negotiating table "in one fell swoop."

The Taliban has previously offered to hold talks on a possible peace agreement, but only directly with the United States, which Mattis rejects. "We want the Afghans to lead and provide the substance to the reconciliation effort," he told reporters.

Mattis said the ultimate victory in Afghanistan will be a "political reconciliation" between Kabul and the Taliban, with a country capable of handling its own security.