US President Donald Trump told Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani that there cannot be "meaningful negotiations" unless the proposed Taliban reduction in violence is "significant and lasting," the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
“President Trump reiterated the need for a significant and lasting reduction in violence by the Taliban that would facilitate meaningful negotiations on Afghanistan’s future,” the statement read.
Trump and Ghani had met at the sideline of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Taliban’s spokesman Suhain Shaheen told Arab News in a phone conversation on Tuesday that Taliban representatives are holding talks with US negotiators in Qatar to create a “safe atmosphere” for the signing of a peace agreement.
“There had been no discussion on ceasefire since the beginning, but the US proposed reduction in violence and our stance is to provide a safe atmosphere during the days of the agreement,” Shaheed said as quoted by Arab News.
Shaheen, according to Arab News, said that a comprehensive and complete ceasefire would be declared after the peace agreement is signed with the US, ” We will also provide a safe passage to the US and other foreign forces following the deal,” he said.
The reconvened peace talks between the US and the Taliban are progressing, according to a Taliban spokesperson, while the Afghan government still insists on a ceasefire.
Also at Davos:
On Tuesday, Trump and Pakistan's PM Khan also met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum and discussed bilateral relations between the two countries including peace in Afghanistan, Reuters said.
According to reports, both leaders agreed to continue efforts towards a lasting political settlement to end the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
According to Reuters, Khan said that while relations with India were important, the most pressing concern for the discussion was Afghanistan.
On Wednesday, taking the stage at the conference, Khan said: "You cannot make your economy grow unless and until there is peace and stability."
He said his government, upon coming into power, had decided: "From now onwards, Pakistan will only partner with another country in peace. We will not become part of any other conflict,” according to Pakistan’s newspaper Dawn report.
In line with that policy, he said Pakistan has tried to ease tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia as well as Iran and the United States. In addition, "it is the nearest we are to some sort of a peaceful solution in Afghanistan", Khan said, the report said.