Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates:
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will Saturday meet negotiators from the Taliban and Afghan authorities amid indicators of progress of their talks because the United States accelerates its withdrawal.
The State Department mentioned late Friday that Pompeo will meet individually with the Afghan authorities and Taliban negotiation groups within the Gulf state of Qatar.
Pompeo can even see Qatar’s ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and the international minister on his cease within the capital Doha, the Taliban’s base for diplomacy, the State Department mentioned on its public schedule.
The outgoing prime US diplomat is on a seven-nation tour of Europe and the Middle East as President Donald Trump shores up late-term priorities.
Earlier this week, the Pentagon mentioned it might quickly pull some 2,000 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 “forever 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, additionally advocates winding down the Afghanistan conflict though analysts consider he is not going to be as wedded to a fast timetable.
The Taliban for the primary time are chatting with Afghanistan’s authorities.
The talks began September 12 in Doha however nearly instantly faltered over disagreements in regards to the agenda, the fundamental framework of discussions and spiritual interpretations.
Several sources instructed AFP on Friday that the 2 sides seem to have resolved a few of the points, nevertheless.
Among the sticking factors to this point, the Taliban and the Afghan authorities have struggled to agree on widespread language on two important 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 in opposition to Hazaras, who’re predominantly Shiite, and different minorities.
Another contentious subject is how the US-Taliban deal will form a future Afghan peace deal and the way it will likely 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 international forces in trade for safety ensures and a Taliban promise to begin talks.
Despite the talks, violence has surged throughout Afghanistan, with the Taliban stepping up each day assaults in opposition to 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 criticized by Kabul residents who worry it should embolden the Taliban to unleash a brand new wave of preventing.
Afghan civilians have lengthy borne the brunt of the bloodshed.
Officials in Kabul additionally fear it should harden the Taliban place on the negotiating desk, the place the way forward for hard-won positive aspects together with ladies’s rights are on the road.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)