KABUL (AFP) - United States Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Afghanistan on a surprise visit on Sunday, following the release of soldier Bowe Bergdahl, held hostage by the Taleban for five years, a US defence official said.
Mr Hagel arrived at Bagram Airfield, a vast military base in Kabul controlled by the United States, according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Bergdahl's release in exchange for five senior Taleban figures held at Guantanamo Bay has been hailed as a breakthrough for peace efforts by a senior member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council.
But it has come under fire from some US lawmakers.
Mr Hagel's trip comes a week after President Barack Obama made a surprise trip to hail the sacrifices of US soldiers in Afghanistan as combat troops prepare to pull out by the end of this year.
Upon his return Mr Obama outlined a plan under which a US force will remain in the country until the end of 2016 on a training and counter-terrorism mission - subject to the signing of a long-delayed Bilateral Security Agreement.