Former President Trump negotiated a complete drawdown during his final days, which President Biden then inherited.
After his arrival in Kabul on Sunday, Austin met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Austin told the president that senior U.S. officials wanted to see “a responsible end to this conflict” and “a transition to something else,” according to the Washington Post.
“There’s always going to be concerns about things one way or the other, but I think there is a lot of energy focused on doing what is necessary to bring about a responsible end and a negotiated settlement to the war,” Austin said.
Biden, like Trump, promised to end the nearly two-decade conflict and bring all remaining troops home.
Biden labeled the timeline as “tough” but admitted that it “could happen.”
The Taliban on Friday warned of consequences should the U.S. fail to meet the deadline.
Austin and Ghani discussed and condemned the increase in violence in Afghanistan, according to a statement from the presidential palace.
The statement made no mention of the May 1 deadline.
In a sharply worded letter to Ghani earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was urgent to make peace in Afghanistan and all options remain on the table.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.