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U.S. Army Chief Of Staff Visits Kabul For Talks With Afghan Leaders

U.S. General Mark Milley (left) meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on January 3.

U.S. General Mark Milley, chief of staff of the army, visited Kabul for talks with Afghan leaders, according to the Afghan president's office.

A statement released by President Ashraf Ghani's office said the two sides met on January 3 and discussed U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and U.S. support for an Afghan-led peace process with Taliban militants.

Interior Minister Amrullah Saleh and Defense Minister Asadullah Khaled attended the meeting.

General Scott Miller, the top NATO and U.S. commander in Afghanistan, was also present.

The meeting came amid U.S. attempts to encourage negotiations between the Taliban and the Kabul government to end the 17-year war.

U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has held at least three rounds of talks with Taliban officials in recent months, although the militants have refused to talk directly to the Afghan government.

The peace efforts come amid reports of a possible drawdown in the estimated 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan currently leading a NATO effort to train and advise local troops.

With reporting by AP