Negotiators from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s team stressed the need for an end to violence in the country as they met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday.
The negotiators said that in their meeting with the US secretary of state, they insisted on an end to violence and called for preserving Afghanistan’s achievements, especially in human and women’s rights, when it comes to a peace deal with the Taliban.
“Concerns of members of the peace delegation about the increase in violence and the US support to the Afghan peace negotiations, which is a common goal, were discussed,” said Habiba Sarabi, a peace negotiator from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was also present in the talks.
The Taliban said that in their meeting with Pompeo they insisted on the implementation of the Doha agreement, the removal of names of Taliban members from UN blacklist, the release of their prisoners, and the peace negotiations.
“The release of remaining prisoners of the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan and ending the blacklists and also issues around intra-Afghan negotiations were discussed,” Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said.
The US State Department in a statement on Pompeo’s trip said Qatar has been an important partner in fostering peace in Afghanistan and has played an invaluable role as host for Afghanistan peace negotiations.
US Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson on Sunday said that Taliban violence is unacceptable, reiterating that a significant reduction in violence is part of the deal signed between the United States and the Taliban.
The Defense Ministry on Saturday said that Taliban violence has expended to more than 20 provinces of the country. The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday met with peace negotiators in Doha.
“It is not consistent with the terms with what we believe we agreed upon with the Taliban. We’ve told the Taliban this very clearly and very directly, many times. They don’t like the criticism from us, they don’t like the implied criticism from the United Nations, from the European Union, from others in the international community,” Wilson said.
Sources close to the Taliban said violence will reduce after the remaining prisoners of the Taliban are released and the names of their leaders are removed from the UN sanctions list.
Sources within the government said that the head of the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Masoom Stanekzai has returned to Kabul with some members of the negotiating team and has held few meetings with President Ghani.