Afghanistan, US agree to accelerate peace talks with Taliban
WASHINGTON -- The United States and Afghanistan Thursday (July 25) said they have agreed to accelerate efforts to reach a negotiated end to the conflict with the Taliban.
In a joint statement, Washington and Kabul said the agreement had been reached in a telephone call between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Ashraf Ghani Wednesday (July 24).
'No change' to US commitment
Pompeo assured Ghani that "there has been no change" to US President Donald Trump's South Asia strategy, "including US commitment to a conditions-based drawdown" of troops, the statement said.
Ghani and Pompeo agreed that "now is the time to accelerate efforts to reach a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan", said the statement.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad were sent to Kabul to "discuss in detail the next steps on the road to peace", the statement said.
Khalilzad is then expected to head to Doha to resume talks with the Taliban.