Trump addresses Afghan peace talks with national security officials

first_imgUS President Donald Trump boarding Air Force One in Morristown, New Jersey on August 15, 2019ReutersUS President Donald Trump on Friday said that the meeting with the national security team on the Afghan peace deal went “very well, and negotiations are proceeding”.”Just completed a very good meeting on Afghanistan. Many on the opposite side of this 19-year war, and us are looking to make a deal – if possible!” Trump said in a tweet after the session.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Vice President Mike Pence, Defence Secretary Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel were reported to meet the President at his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.The former US ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad who is the special envoy for the talks will negotiate the agreed plans with Taliban leaders in Qatar in a few days, sources told Bloomberg.Washington is negotiating a deal with the Taliban regarding the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and a political agreement between the two sides.”We are working diligently on the path forward in Afghanistan,” Pompeo said in a statement.”In continued close cooperation with the government of Afghanistan, we remain committed to achieving a comprehensive peace agreement, including a reduction in violence and a ceasefire, ensuring that Afghan soil is never again used to threaten the United States or her allies, and bringing Afghans together to work towards peace,” he added.However, the eight-round of talks that ended in Qatar on Monday showed significant differences between the United States and the Taliban, a US defence official told Reuters.The talks are interweaved with several political tensions between the Taliban, Washington and Kabul governments. Khalilzad is seeking a tri-state agreement between the Taliban and the Kabul government with representative delegations from opposition leaders and civil society members.Tensions between the terror organisation and the Afghan government has made negotiations between them difficult as the Taliban condemns Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government and calls them a US puppet.last_img read more