White House says discussions on Afghan peace deal went ‘very well’

The White House has signaled progress in discussions between President Donald Trump and top advisers on Friday to review negotiations with the Taliban on a U.S. troop pullout from Afghanistan and the potential for a political settlement between the warring sides.

“Discussions centered around our ongoing negotiations and eventual peace and reconciliation agreement with the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan. The meeting went very well, and negotiations are proceeding,” the White House said in a statement.

Trump who is on a working vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, received the briefing from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other advisers on the talks, which have been handled by Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad.

Vice President Mike Pence and White House national security adviser John Bolton were among the attendees, an official said.

18 years and counting: Afghanistan peace talks

U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, talks with local reporters at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, November 18, 2018. /Reuters Photo

A U.S. defense official said significant differences remained between the U.S.  and the Taliban after an eighth round of talks ended in Qatar on Monday.

Some 14,000 U.S. troops remain engaged in America’s longest war, training and advising Afghan security forces and conducting counterinsurgency operations against militant groups such as al Qaeda and Islamic State’s local affiliate.

The U.S. military presence dates to 2001 when then-President George W. Bush invaded in pursuit of al Qaeda and ousted the Taliban rulers who had given Osama bin Laden and his followers a safe haven in which they plotted the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Trump has been adamant that he would like to withdraw U.S. forces, possibly ahead of the November 2020 election.

A pullout has raised deep concerns within the U.S. military and among some lawmakers that Afghanistan could plunge into a new civil war that could see a return of Taliban rule and give al Qaeda and other militants a sanctuary in which to expand and plot new attacks on U.S. and allied targets.

U.S. troops patrol at an Afghan National Army (ANA) Base in Logar province, Afghanistan, August 7, 2018. /Reuters Photo

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, said any deal should allow the U.S. to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan to pursue such groups.

“Any peace agreement which denies the U.S. a robust counter-terrorism capability in Afghanistan is not a peace deal,” he said in a statement. “Instead, it is paving the way for another attack on the American homeland and attacks against American interests around the world.”

A senior administration official said a decision was not necessarily expected from the Bedminster meeting, but Trump “has been pretty clear that he wants to bring the troops home.”

Both sides had raised expectations of being close to finalizing an agreement prior to convening the latest round of talks.

The U.S. defense official, however, said differences remained over U.S. demands that the insurgents publicly renounce ties to al Qaeda and other militant groups and agree to a nationwide ceasefire, the official said.

Khalilzad also is seeking the Taliban’s agreement to hold direct negotiations on a political settlement with Kabul government officials who would be part of a delegation that included opposition leaders and civil society representatives.

Taliban leaders to date have refused to hold official talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government, which they denounce as a U.S. puppet.

(Cover: U.S. President Donald Trump arrives aboard Air Force One at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., August 15, 2019. /Reuters Photo)

Sharing is caring!

Author: Joseph Oladokun

27 thoughts on “White House says discussions on Afghan peace deal went ‘very well’

  1. Good day! nicenews.com.ng

    We suggesting

    Sending your commercial proposal through the feedback form which can be found on the sites in the contact partition. Feedback forms are filled in by our application and the captcha is solved. The profit of this method is that messages sent through feedback forms are whitelisted. This method increases the chances that your message will be read.

    Our database contains more than 25 million sites around the world to which we can send your message.

    The cost of one million messages 49 USD

    FREE TEST mailing of 50,000 messages to any country of your choice.

    This message is automatically generated to use our contacts for communication.

    Contact us.
    Telegram – @FeedbackFormEU
    Skype FeedbackForm2019
    Email – FeedbackForm@make-success.com

  2. Hello there,

    This is Vicky from SMS.to,

    As a licensed telecom company, we can offer you unbeatable prices for SMS messaging in Singapore and internationally.

    We are having a special offer this month for new customers,

    Can you point me to the person responsible for marketing to discuss and share my special offer?

    Julie Poblador
    Senior Account Manager
    sales@sms.to | julie@sms.to
    +1 (914) 340-0700
    +356 277 610 22
    +357 22 000 522
    +44 8008085314
    SMS.to by Intergo Telecom Ltd

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.