Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates:
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with Taliban and Afghan government negotiators on Saturday to indicate progress in their negotiations as the United States accelerates its withdrawal.
The State Department said Friday evening that Pompeo would meet separately with the Afghan government and Taliban negotiating teams in the Gulf state of Qatar.
Pompeo will also see the Taliban’s diplomatic base, Qatari leader Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and foreign minister while in the capital, Doha, the State Department said at its event. public.
Leading outgoing US diplomats travel to seven countries in Europe and the Middle East as President Donald Trump avoids long-term priorities.
Earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that it would soon withdraw 2,000 troops from Afghanistan, stepping up a timeline set in a February deal between Washington and the Taliban requiring a full U.S. withdrawal in mid-2021.
Trump has repeatedly promised to end “wars forever,” including in America’s longest-running conflict Afghanistan, with an invasion to challenge the Taliban after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
President-elect Joe Biden, in a rare deal, also advocates ending the war in Afghanistan, although analysts believe he will not follow a quick timeline.
The Taliban speak to the Afghan government for the first time.
The talks began in Doha on September 12 but almost immediately collapsed due to disagreements over the agenda, discussions and the infrastructure of religious interpretations.
Several sources told AFP on Friday that the two sides had settled some issues.
By far the most important points, the Taliban and the Afghan government have struggled to agree on a common language on two main issues.
The Taliban, who are Sunni fundamentalists, have insisted on following the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence, but government negotiators say it can be used to discriminate against thousands of people, mostly Shiites, and others are in the minority.
Another controversial topic is how and how the US-Taliban deal will shape the future Afghan peace deal.
The Doha peace talks came after the Taliban and Washington signed an agreement in February, in which the United States agreed to withdraw all foreign forces to ensure security, and the Taliban vowed to resume negotiations.
Despite the talks, violence in Afghanistan has escalated, with the Taliban stepping up daily attacks on Afghan security forces.
Trump’s plan to kill soldiers by January 15 – less than a week before his successor Joe Biden takes office – has been criticized by residents of Kabul, who fear it will help the Taliban fight . Will help usher in a new wave.
Afghan citizens have long suffered from bloodshed.
Kabul officials are also concerned that it will harden the Taliban’s position at the negotiating table, where the future of gains made through hard work, including women’s rights, is at stake.
(This story was not edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)