US reaffirms commitment to achieving peace in Afghanistan

Washington: US State Department Secretary Michael R. Pompeo on Tuesday spoke with Afghanistan’s President Ghani and reaffirmed the US commitment to achieving a lasting peace in Afghanistan.

“The Secretary underscored Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad’s role in facilitating an inclusive peace process,” states a press release from the US State Department.
Pompeo also emphasised the importance of an intra-Afghan dialogue and the role of ceasefire in ending the violence and creating the conditions for the Afghan government, other Afghan leaders and the Taliban to sit together and negotiate a political settlement.

The Secretary further stressed the important gains made by the Afghan people since 2001 and Washington’s desire for a long-term partnership with Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, US Senate on Tuesday approved legislation which includes a provision warning US President Donald Trump not to precipitously withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Syria until terrorist groups in the regions are destroyed.

Trump, in December, had announced that army troops will be pulled out from Afghanistan as well as Syria.

Last week, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad had announced that the US and Taliban have agreed in principle to chalk out a framework for a deal that could end the 17-year old conflict in Afghanistan, during the six-day long talks in Doha.

During a press briefing at the Oval Office in White House on Friday, US President Donald Trump stated that Afghanistan is seeking for “very serious negotiations for the first time” on peace efforts in the past 18 years while adding “there’s a reason for that”.