US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said in a tweet on Friday that he hopes the Trump Administration will not give into “absurd Taliban demands” for US withdrawal within 18 months, regardless of conditions on the ground, saying “we need a good deal, not a fake deal”.
“We now have a small US military footprint, along with our allies, that is an insurance policy against the reemergence of al-Qaeda/ISIS types and help hold Afghanistan together,” he tweeted.
He stressed that how Afghanistan turns out is vitally important to US’s own national security interests as Afghanistan is the “place it all started on 9/11”.
This comes as US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said in a tweet on Thursday that he is “getting ready to launch another mission in the hope of making further process”, referring to the next round of his talks with the Taliban in Doha aimed at ending the Afghan war through a political settlement.
Recently, Khalilzad concluded the seventh round of talks with the Taliban in Doha. He termed the last round of talks “most productive”.
Earlier this month, at least 60 delegates from Kabul met with 17 members of the Taliban in an intra-Afghan dialogue conference in Doha, co-hosted by Germany and Qatar, where the two sides issued an unprecedented resolution in which the Taliban agreed to reduce violence by stopping attacks on public places, including schools, mosques and other civilian places.
On June 25, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his visit to Kabul said he hopes that Afghanistan will achieve a peace deal ahead of the Presidential Elections – scheduled for September 28.