Washington, March 9: US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Afghanistan Friday on his first overseas trip as the Pentagon chief, the defense department announced.
Hagel is to thank the US troops deployed in the Asian country and to see for himself “where we are in Afghanistan”, reported Xinhua citing the American Forces Press Service, the Pentagon’s information wing,
Hagel, who talk charge Feb 27 as new defence secretary, told the reporters accompanying him on the flight that he was interested in seeing for himself, and discussing with Afghan and NATO International Security Assistance Force partners, “where the Afghans are in some of their capabilities”.
He said he had spoken over telephone with — Afghan Defence Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who recently visited Afghanistan.
Hagel said that he was looking forward to meeting with Mohammadi and Afghan President Hamid Karzai during this visit.
He will also hold talk with senior US military commanders in the country, including Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford who took over command of the coalition force from John Allen Feb 10.