Pompeo welcomes ‘historic’ Afghan peace talks
Talks between official Kabul and the movement &# 171; Taliban&# 187; should start in the capital of Qatar on Saturday
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in the Qatari capital on Friday ahead of the historic long-awaited intra-Afghan peace talks to begin on Saturday..
“It took us longer than I would like to get here starting on February 29, but we expect Saturday morning… Afghans who sit at the same table will be ready to debate and debate about the future of their country, ”Pompeo told reporters aboard the plane shortly after leaving Washington on Thursday evening..
The Trump administration spearheaded talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, which will allow the United States to withdraw from the longest overseas military campaign in the country’s history and provide the president with an opportunity to declare important foreign policy success ahead of the November 3 elections..
Zalmay Khalilzad, US Special Envoy for the Afghanistan Negotiation Process, told reporters during a conference call on Friday that the talks will be “a test of both sides.”.
“This is a new stage in the diplomatic negotiations for peace in Afghanistan. We are now entering an Afghan-led and Afghan-led process, ”he said, adding that the United States will continue to monitor the negotiations and interact with both sides..
Earlier, a group of representatives of the Afghan government flew from Kabul to Doha.
“Today we travel to Doha with hope and confidence to create an environment in Afghanistan where no gunshots will be heard … and the Afghan people will achieve what they deserve,” said Nader Naderi, a member of the negotiating team that flew out of Kabul.
Taliban talks between Afghan government officials and the Taliban are expected to begin on Saturday, as stipulated in the February US-Taliban agreement..
Pompeo’s arrival in Doha on Friday coincided with the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States, which prompted American military intervention in Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban who harbored Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaeda militants who planned the attacks..
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