Wednesday, August 14, 2019

No deal yet with the Taliban, but Trump is planning big cuts in U.S. presence - Latimes


 
Another round of talks aimed at resolving nearly two decades of fighting in Afghanistan has ended without a deal, but the Trump administration is moving ahead regardless with plans to substantially cut the number of U.S. troops and diplomats in the conflicted country.
An overly hasty downsizing of U.S. military, diplomatic and aid personnel could risk sacrificing some of the progress made in human rights and development, some experts warn — especially if no meaningful peace treaty is in place. At the same time, U.S. patience for America’s longest conflict is at an end.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the adminstration’s special envoy for Afghan peace talks, was headed back to Washington on Wednesday to “consult the next steps” after what he described as 10 days of “productive” talks with Taliban leaders in Qatar that focused on technical issues.

”I hope this is the last Eid where #Afghanistan is at war,” he said in a Twitter message marking the Islamic holiday. “I know Afghans yearn for peace. We stand with them and are working hard toward a lasting & honorable peace agreement and a sovereign Afghanistan which poses no threat to any other country.”

The deal that Khalilzad is attempting to negotiate with the Taliban would remove around half of an estimated 20,000 U.S. and other foreign troops from Afghanistan in exchange for guarantees that the country would not once again host radical Islamic militants.

Khalilzad suggested some progress had been made on those points. But it appeared that virtually no advances were made on other U.S. demands, including that the Taliban also negotiate directly with Afghan government officials. The Taliban does not recognize the government in Kabul, saying it is a puppet of the West. - Read More

1 Comments:

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