The US State Department in a statement welcomed the Loya Jirga in Kabul, saying the Jirga will consolidate national support for peace in Afghanistan and determine the fate of the remaining Taliban prisoners which are a major obstacle to starting the intra-Afghan talks.
“The United States commends the participants of the Loya Jirga to be convened on August 7 to consolidate national support for peace. We understand that they will decide on the expeditious release of the remaining Taliban prisoners from their list, the last obstacle to the start of intra-Afghan negotiations,” said the statement.
The statement says that following the timely release of these prisoners, the Taliban have committed to enter talks with the national team "representing the strength and diversity of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan."
“The Taliban have also committed to significantly reduce violence and casualties during the talks where the parties will decide on a political roadmap to end the long and brutal war and agree on a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. The United States intends to hold the Taliban to these commitments,” the statement said.
“We acknowledge that the release of these prisoners is unpopular. But this difficult action will lead to an important result long sought by Afghans and Afghanistan’s friends: reduction of violence and direct talks resulting in a peace agreement and an end to the war. After 40 years of war and bloodshed and destruction, the parties are ready to embark on a political process to reach a negotiated settlement," said the US Department of State in the statement.
The US has also called on the Afghan political leaders to seize the historic opportunity for peace.
“The United States urges President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah, the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, and other Afghan leaders, including participants of the Loya Jirga, to take advantage of this historic opportunity for a peace that benefits all Afghans and contributes to regional stability and global security,” the statement reads.
According to the statement, the Trump Administration remains committed to Washington’s partnership with Afghanistan
“The Trump Administration remains committed to our partnership with Afghanistan. As ever, the United States seeks a sovereign, unified, and democratic Afghanistan that is at peace with itself and its neighbors. At the same time we are committed to reducing the burden on the US taxpayer and the risk to US troops,” the statement said.
The statement also reads:
"Terrorist threats emanating from Afghanistan should never again pose a threat to the United States and our allies. We are prepared to maintain substantial security assistance to our Afghan security partners to achieve that objective."
On the gains the country made since 2001, the statement said: “While the future of Afghanistan is for Afghans to decide, we strongly support the preservation and advancement of the social, economic, and political gains made since 2001. These gains include Afghanistan’s democratic development and the protection and expansion of the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and minorities.”
On Afghanistan’s self-reliance, the statement said: “To help Afghanistan realize peace, prosperity, and self-reliance, we are ready to support a peace settlement, including by extending US development programs to previously under-served areas. We remain committed to providing humanitarian assistance to respond to the COVID pandemic. We look forward to joining other donors at the upcoming Geneva Conference to discuss how best to support the Afghan people.
“Finally, we remain committed to improving regional economic ties and connectivity. Promoting joint infrastructure projects is a key element of improved connectivity. We are prepared to support these projects through such U.S. agencies as the Development Finance Corporation (DFC), which is also considering investment in agriculture and extractive industries, among other sectors,” said the statement.
On the intra-Afghan talks: “While the decisions and conduct of both parties to intra-Afghan negotiations will affect the size and scope of future US assistance, the United States affirms its support for a sustainable peace and an enduring partnership with Afghanistan."