The Afghan government on Sunday announced its position on the US President Donald Trump’s decision to call off peace negotiations with the Taliban in which the two sides “agree in principle” on an agreement which could provide the way for American forces withdrawal from the war-ravaged Afghanistan.
The statement says that the Afghan government and the people want a “dignified peace” and that the government is committed to all efforts for peace.
But the statement has added that the Afghan government sees Taliban violence as the main hurdle on the way of the peace efforts.
The Presidential Palace in a statement said the Afghan government welcomes peace efforts by its allies and “is commitment working with the US and other allies in bringing stainable peace in the country.”
“We have always emphasized that real peace is possible only when the Taliban stop killing Afghans, accept a ceasefire and get ready for direct talks with the Afghan government,” the statement said.
The statement said that the Afghan government stresses on the formation of a strong and legitimate government through the upcoming presidential election in order to move forward the ongoing peace process with further attention.
This comes as the US President Donald Trump said he has called off peace negotiations with the Taliban after the group admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed at least 10 people, including a US soldier.
In a series of tweets, Mr. Trump said he had been set to meet senior Taliban leaders, and separately, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, at Camp David on Sunday. However, he canceled the meeting and called off negotiations after the group admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed a US soldier.
Trump said if the Taliban cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway.
The US and the Taliban “agreed in principle” on a deal after nine rounds of talks in Doha and UAE, according to US chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad.
In an interview with TOLOnews last week, Mr. Khalilzad said the United States and the Taliban have reached “agreed in principle” on a deal but added that it is not final until US President Trump agrees on it.
Mr. Khalilzad said that based on the draft agreement, the US will withdraw 5,000 troops from five bases in Afghanistan within 135 days if conditions in the agreement are addressed by the Taliban.
On May 9, the sixth round of US-Taliban talks ended in the Qatari capital, Doha. The talks so far have been focused on four key issues: US forces withdrawal, counterterrorism assurances, a ceasefire, and intra-Afghan negotiations.
Last week, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington is not seeking a permanent military presence in Afghanistan after the Taliban said they are close to finalizing a peace agreement with the United States.
The Afghan conflict has cost almost 2,400 American lives and hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars. As the war approaches its 18th year, 14,000 US troops are still in Afghanistan and senior intelligence officials have repeatedly warned that the country remains fragile and could once again become a terrorist haven.