KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's trip to Afghanistan (all times local):
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says "real progress" is being made on the ground in Afghanistan.
Pence is visiting the war-torn nation to meet with its leaders and rally U.S. troops stationed there.
Pence says Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has told him that more senior Taliban leaders have been eliminated this year than in all prior years of the war combined.
President Donald Trump announced a new Afghan strategy in August. Pence says that, because of that decision, the U.S. has been sending more resources and troops into Afghanistan. More important, Pence says, is the new authority Trump has granted U.S. military personnel on the ground to fight more effectively alongside Afghan soldiers.
The vice president says "the results are really beginning to become evident around the country."
Vice President Mike Pence has outlined President Donald Trump's strategy in Afghanistan during a surprise trip to Bagram Air Base.
Pence says that Trump has "put Pakistan on notice" and that the country has much to lose if it continues to harbor terrorists.
Pence told hundreds of U.S. troops in a speech in an airport hangar Thursday that too often Pakistan has provided "safe haven" to the Taliban and other terrorist groups. Pence says, "Those days are over."
The vice president says Pakistan "has much to gain from partnering with the United States." But he says, "Pakistan has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals."
Pence says, "Peace only comes through strength." He urged the soldiers to be strong and courageous.
Vice President Mike Pence is telling hundreds of U.S. troops at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan that President Donald Trump is committed to "staying in that fight" and seeing it "through to the end."
Pence on Thursday delivered a pre-Christmas address to soldiers serving in Afghanistan and pointed to the president's new strategy in the country.
The vice president noted the sacrifice of American soldiers here since the 2001 invasion and told the troops, "I believe victory is closer than ever before."
Pence says after his meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that U.S. armed forces will remain engaged in the country until they eliminate the terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland.
He also wished the soldiers a "Merry Christmas."
Vice President Mike Pence is telling Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that the U.S. is "here to see this through" as they discuss President Donald Trump's new Afghanistan strategy during a surprise visit by the vice president.
Pence is joining Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah for a Thursday evening meeting at the presidential palace in Kabul. Pence arrived by helicopter after landing at Bagram Air Base.
Ghani is offering Pence his thanks on behalf of a grateful nation and pointing to their common bonds.
Pence says the two countries have been "on a long road together" and have sacrificed much during the 16-year war. But Pence says the U.S. is committed to helping Afghanistan achieve peace and security.
The discussions were expected to focus on the implementation of Trump's new Afghanistan strategy and discuss upcoming parliamentary elections and the country's presidential election in 2019.
Vice President Mike Pence has made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan to meet with Afghan leaders and visit U.S. troops.
Pence arrived in Afghanistan four months after President Donald Trump outlined a new strategy to break the stalemate in America's longest war. Pence's surprise visit is the first to the war-torn country by either Trump or the vice president. Pence landed at Bagram Air Base under heavy security on Thursday.
He met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, as well as U.S. troops and U.S. military leaders.
Trump released his new strategy for ending the 16-year war in Afghanistan in August. The president said U.S. troops would "fight to win" by attacking enemies and crushing terrorists.