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Pompeo meets Taliban and Afghan negotiators in Doha – Times of India

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Afghan government and Taliban negotiators in Doha, amid signs of progress in their stalled talks and an upsurge in violence that threatens to undermine the push for peace in the war-torn country.
It was the senior US diplomat’s first meeting with the Taliban and Afghan officials after the US recently announced that it will reduce the number of US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 each by January 15 of next year.
The United States currently has just over 4,500 troops in Afghanistan.
“Meeting with the Taliban and Islamic Republic of Afghanistanthe Doha negotiating teams. I commend both sides for continuing to negotiate and the progress they have made. I encourage accelerated discussions on a political roadmap and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, ”Pompeo said in a tweet on Saturday.

Pompeo today met with the Taliban’s political assistant and the head of the political bureau Mollah Beradar and members of the Taliban negotiating team, Senior Deputy State Department spokesperson Cale Brown said.
During the meeting, Pompeo congratulated the two sides for continuing to negotiate and for the progress they have made, he said.
During his meeting with the Taliban, Pompeo praised the two sides for continuing to negotiate and for the progress they have made. He called for a significant reduction in violence and urged accelerated discussions on a political roadmap and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.
“Pompeo and the negotiators discussed ways to reduce violence, and he urged accelerated discussions on a political road map and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” Brown said.
Pompeo reaffirmed that the Afghan people expect and deserve to live in peace and security after 40 years of war and bloodshed, he said, adding that the US Secretary of State is also meeting with the minister. Qatari Foreign Affairs Al Thani in Doha and was discussing bilateral and regional issues.
“We appreciate Qatar’s continued support as host of the peace negotiations in Afghanistan. A united Gulf remains crucial to counter Iranmalignant influence of the region, ”Pompeo said in another tweet.

The United States signed a deal with the Taliban in February to promote a negotiated end to the protracted conflict. The Afghan government and Taliban negotiators have met regularly in Doha to try to negotiate a peace deal, but have yet to achieve a major breakthrough.
Meanwhile, violence in Afghanistan has increased in recent months.
Pompeo’s visit came in the wake of a rocket attack that hit densely populated areas of I accept, killing at least eight people in the latest outbreak of violence in the Afghan capital.




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