U.S.. According to Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo, diplomats are about to conclude negotiations on the Taliban's obligation not to protect terrorists when American troops leave Afghanistan.
"In the light of this progress, we have begun talks with the Taliban about the military presence abroad, which is still conditional," Pompeo told reporters during an unannounced trip to Kabul. "And although we made it clear to the Taliban that we are ready to remove our forces, I would like to clarify that we have not yet agreed on a timetable." direct talks between the Taliban and the central government that the Taliban did not want to absorb. His comments were a rare expression of optimism for a process made more difficult by the Taliban's aggression, the emergence of a dangerous offshoot of the Islamic State, and internal political divisions in Kabul.
"As far as terrorism is concerned, we have made real progress and are almost ready to conclude a draft text setting out the Taliban's obligations to ensure, together with other Afghans, that Afghan soil will never again become a safe haven for terrorists" said Pompeo. "All sides agree that the completion of a US-Taliban agreement on terrorism and the presence of foreign troops will open the door to inter-Afghan dialogue and negotiations."
This trial has been going on since January, when a US negotiating team led by Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad announced that the Taliban had agreed to a "framework" for a possible settlement. However, the negotiations took place amidst a wave of violence by the Taliban and the ISIS affiliate known as ISIS-Khorasan. The Taliban threatened to attack Afghan journalists if the media did not stop publishing "anti-jihad and Taliban views" next week.
"In this case, the journalist or employees of these so-called media organizations are not sure," the Taliban said Monday.
On the other hand, US officials have ceased to publish assessments of how much territory the Taliban control, but civilian death reached a record high in 201
"The Taliban are picking up, but there is still a stalemate," said Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, the senior Democrat in the Armed Forces Committee and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Washington Examiner last month after a trip into the country. "They control more territory and conquer some metropolitan areas. But it's essentially about keeping the government in control of the population, most of the population. "
Pompeo hoped to reach an agreement before September 1, when Afghan voters are expected to vote, and have been delayed twice already. "But the quest for peace should not wait until the Afghan presidential election," he added. "Election planning must be continued immediately if we seek the peace that Afghans deserve."
The top American diplomat hopes that an "inter-Afghan dialogue" mediated by Germany and Qatar will contribute to a comprehensive negotiation between the US government in Kabul and the Taliban.
"This next step is at the heart of our efforts," said Pompeo. We are not and will not negotiate with the Taliban on behalf of the government or the people of Afghanistan. work to bring the Afghans together at the negotiating table to decide together on the future of their country. "
Pompeo added that even after such a process, the United States expects a significant presence in Afghanistan.
"I had a series of internal meetings today to discuss plans for our future robust presence in the areas of diplomacy, security and development. The United States will help Afghans preserve the profits of the past 18 years by supporting stat Civil governments and their traditions of self-reliance. "