Pompeo Urges Government, Taliban Representatives to Agree Quickly on Political Roadmap and Comprehensive Ceasefire

8 Subh, Kabul: US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, in separate meetings with the government and Taliban negotiating teams in Doha, encouraged them to agree on a comprehensive political plan and ceasefire as soon as possible. Separate statements issued by the Department of State during the two meetings stated that Pompeo called for a significant reduction in violence in Afghanistan. The two declarations were similar in content.

According to the Department of State, Pompeo praised the two sides for continuing the talks and making progress. During the meetings with both delegations, he stressed that the people of Afghanistan expected and deserved to live in peace and security after 40 years of war and bloodshed.

The government’s negotiating team also announced that some members of the delegation had met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Doha on Saturday. During the meeting, members of the government’s negotiating team said that the Afghan people wanted to preserve the achievements of the last two decades in their country.

The government’s negotiating team told Mike Pompeo that the escalation of violence after the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners was unacceptable and in violation of the Doha agreement. The delegation called for a permanent ceasefire as this was the demand of the Afghan people. The meeting was also attended by Minister of State for Peace Sayed Mansoor Sadat Naderi and Zalmai Khalilzad, US Secretary of State’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.

Mohammad Naeem, the spokesperson for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, also said that Mullah Abdul Ghani, the brother of the political deputy, Mawlawi Abdul Hakim, the head of the negotiating team, and other members of the group had met with Mike Pompeo and his entourage. According to Mohammad Naeem, during the meeting, the two sides discussed the importance of the agreement signed between them and the bilateral commitments. A spokesperson for the Taliban’s political bureau in Qatar said the meeting focused on ending the blacklist, releasing remaining prisoners and issues relating to the intra-Afghan talks.

Prior to Pompeo’s visit to Qatar and his meetings with the government and Taliban negotiating teams, it was reported that the two sides had reached an agreement on the general agenda of the peace talks and that the stalemate of the talks had been broken.