US Ready for Direct Talks With Taliban

US Ready for Direct Talks  With TalibanUS Ready for Direct Talks  With Taliban

The United States says it will engage in direct talks with the Taliban in an effort to bring the war toward an end, upturning its previous stance that any peace negotiations would be “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned.” The Taliban has long demanded direct talks with the US; it regards the Afghan government as illegitimate. The US-led invasion in 2001 removed the Taliban from power, but 17 years on, about 45% of the country’s districts are once again either Taliban-controlled or contested, ABC reported. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Kabul briefly last week, and it is believed diplomats have been laying the groundwork for talks between the two sides. The commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, said there is hope direct talks can move the peace process forward. “And our Secretary of State, Mr. Pompeo, has said that we, the United States, are ready to talk with the Taliban and discuss the role of international forces,” General Nicholson said. No dates have been set for any US-Taliban talks.


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