Pompeo meets Afghan and Taliban peace talks teams in Doha
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo met with both the Afghanistan Republic and the Taliban’s negotiating teams in Doha, Qatar on Saturday to discuss issues around the peace process and on reducing violence.
According to the US State Department’s Principal Deputy Spokesperson Cale Brown, Pompeo “commended both sides for continuing to negotiate and for the progress they have made.
“Secretary Pompeo and the negotiators discussed ways to reduce violence, and he encouraged expedited discussions on a political roadmap and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” Brown said in a statement.
“Secretary Pompeo reiterated that the people of Afghanistan expect and deserve to live in and security after 40 years of war and bloodshed,” Brown added.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad was also present at the meetings.
The Afghan negotiating team said tweeted late Saturday night that “during the meeting, Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, Minister of State for Peace Affairs and a member of the negotiating team thanked the United States for its continued support to Afghanistan over the years.”
Naderi also called on the US to continue supporting Afghanistan even once a peace agreement has been signed.
“The members of the negotiating team said that the people of Afghanistan want to preserve the achievements of the last two decades in the country. They also said that the escalation of violence after the release of 5,000 Afghan prisoners was unacceptable and in conflict with the Agreement,” the negotiating team tweeted.
The Afghan talks team told Pompeo that the Afghan people want a permanent ceasefire.
“During the meeting, the members of the negotiating team said that the ongoing war in Afghanistan is against Islam and its continuation is unacceptable to the international community,” the Afghan talks team tweeted.
“During the meeting, Mike Pompeo, referring to US support for the peace process, said that lasting peace is a common goal of both countries. The country’s support for lasting peace in Afghanistan will continue, as well as long-term commitments to the Afghan people,” the team stated.
The Taliban’s spokesman in Doha, Naeem Mohammed also issued a series of tweets late Saturday night, after the meetings.
He said: “The political deputy and head of the political office Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and the head of negotiating team Sheikh Mawlawi Abdulhakeem and the delegation accompanying them met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his team.
“During the meeting, the importance of the agreement signed between the two sides and commitment to it were discussed.
“Likewise, the removal [of Taliban] from Blacklist, the liberation of remaining prisoners and the topics related to Intra-Afghan negotiations were talked about,” Naeem tweeted.
met with talks team negotiators after recent indications point towards some headway having been made in talks, which started in September but soon hit a deadlock.