U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a $1 billion cut in U.S. aid to Afghanistan on Monday (March 24) after he failed to convince Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his political foe Abdullah Abdullah to end a feud that's jeopardized a U.S.-led peace effort. Pompeo said in a statement that the United States is prepared to cut 2021 assistance by the same amount and is conducting "a review of all of our programs and projects to identify additional reductions, and reconsider our pledges to future donor conferences for Afghanistan''. The statement came as he flew home from a fruitless day-long effort in Kabul to end competing claims to the presidency by Ghani and Abdullah and win their agreement to form "an inclusive government." Pompeo declined to detail how the $1 billion in aid cuts would be apportioned or whether he set a deadline to settle their dispute. But he indicated that the aid cut could be canceled if they came to an agreement.
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