Mike Pompeo meets with Afghanistans State Minister for Peace Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi and negotiators.

Doha, Qatar:

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Afghan authorities and Taliban negotiators in Doha, calling for them to hurry up their peace talks as Washington accelerates its army withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Pompeo “known as for a big discount in violence and inspired expedited discussions on a political roadmap and a everlasting and complete ceasefire”, based on the US State Division.

The highest US diplomat met individually with the Afghan authorities and Taliban negotiation groups in a luxurious resort within the Qatari capital, and his encounter with the novel Islamist insurgents lasted over an hour.

His go to got here within the wake of a rocket assault which struck densely populated areas of Kabul, killing no less than eight folks within the newest outbreak of violence within the Afghan capital. The Taliban denied accountability and the Islamic State group claimed the lethal strike.

“I might be most desirous about getting your ideas on how we will enhance the chance of a profitable end result”, Pompeo mentioned as he met the Afghan authorities facet, noting the shared curiosity in such a situation.

He additionally met Qatar’s ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, the overseas minister, on his cease in Doha, which is the Taliban’s base for diplomacy.

However there was no announcement of any breakthrough in talks between the Taliban and the Afghan authorities, forward of Pompeo’s departure.

He flew on to Abu Dhabi for the subsequent leg of his seven-nation tour of Europe and the Center East, as President Donald Trump shores up late-term priorities.

Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of Afghanistan’s Excessive Council for Nationwide Reconciliation, advised AFP the federal government and the Taliban had been “very shut” to breaking a impasse in talks.

“We’re shut, we’re very shut. Hopefully we cross this part and get to the substantial points” together with safety, he mentioned throughout a go to to Turkey.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon mentioned it will quickly pull some 2,00zero troops out of Afghanistan, rushing up the timeline established in a February settlement between Washington and the Taliban that envisions a full US withdrawal in mid-2021.

Trump has repeatedly vowed to finish “perpetually wars”, together with in Afghanistan, America’s longest-ever battle that started with an invasion to dislodge the Taliban following the September 11, 2001 assaults.

President-elect Joe Biden, in a uncommon level of settlement with Trump, additionally advocates winding down the Afghanistan conflict, though analysts consider he won’t be as wedded to a fast withdrawal.

Sticking factors

The Taliban are talking to Afghanistan’s authorities for the primary time.


The talks began on September 12 in Doha however nearly instantly faltered over disagreements in regards to the agenda, the fundamental framework of discussions and spiritual interpretations.

A number of sources advised AFP on Friday that the 2 sides seem to have resolved among the points, nonetheless.

Among the many sticking factors thus far, the Taliban and the Afghan authorities have struggled to agree on widespread language on two essential points.

The Taliban, who’re Sunni hardliners, are insisting on adherence to the Hanafi college of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence, however authorities negotiators say this could possibly be used to discriminate towards Hazaras, who’re predominantly Shiite, and different minorities in Afghanistan.

One other contentious matter is how the US-Taliban deal will form a future Afghan peace deal and the way will probably be referred to.

The Doha peace talks opened after the Taliban and Washington signed a deal in February, with the US agreeing to withdraw all overseas forces in alternate for safety ensures and a Taliban promise to begin talks.

Violence surging

Regardless of the talks, violence has surged throughout Afghanistan, with the Taliban stepping up day by day assaults towards Afghan safety forces.

Trump’s plan to slash troops by January 15 — lower than every week earlier than his successor Joe Biden is to be sworn in to workplace — has been criticised in Afghanistan.

Saturday’s strike on the Afghan capital noticed a barrage of rockets slam into numerous elements of central and north Kabul — together with in and across the closely fortified Inexperienced Zone that homes embassies and worldwide companies.

The Islamic State group mentioned in a press release that 28 Katyusha rockets had been fired by “troopers of the caliphate”.

Afghanistan’s inside ministry spokesman Tariq Arian had earlier blamed the Taliban, saying “terrorists” had fired a complete of 23 rockets. Nonetheless, the Taliban denied accountability, saying they “don’t blindly fireplace on public locations”.

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)

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