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Mike Pompeo in Kabul on surprise visit

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Kabul, March 23 (UITV/IANS)- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Kabul on Monday on a surprise visit amid a stalemate in the intra-Afghan talks between the government and the Taliban as it was agreed in the peace deal signed by the militats with Washington.

Pompeo was expected to meet Afghan leaders including President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and his political rival Abdullah Abdullah, reports Xinhua news agency.

Afghanistan was also witnessing a political turmoil as both leaders have taken oath as president.

The US-Taliban deal was inked on February 29 to pave the way for the withdrawal of thousands of the US-led coalition forces from Afghanistan, and to secure the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners within 10 days ahead of the intra-Afghan talks.

But the Afghan government was yet on the release of the Taliban detainees, demanding the militants group to observe ceasefire and initiate the talks ahead of the release.

Afghanistan's election commission on February 18 declared Ghani the winner of the presidential polls but his rival Abdullah disputed the result.

Both held simultaneous inauguration ceremonies as President earlier in March.

The power division within the Afghan government has undermined the US-led peace effort.