Blinken heads to Brussels for talks on Afghanistan, Ukraine

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to Brussels for talks with European and NATO allies about Afghanistan, Ukraine and other matters

The State Department says Blinken will have meetings in the Belgian capital on Tuesday and be met there by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for additional consultations on Wednesday.

Spokesman Ned Price said Monday that Blinken would use the visit “to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the Transatlantic alliance as a critical partnership for achieving our mutual goals.”

The meetings are also taking place amid a buildup of Russian troops along the Russia-Ukraine border that has concerned Western officials as tensions between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists rise in eastern Ukraine.