US remains committed to 'centrality' of Afghan government in peace talks

Salaam Times and AFP


Commander of US Central Command Gen. Joseph L. Votel on February 5 in Washington addresses the US Senate Armed Services Committee on the defence budget request for his command in fiscal year 2020. [US Department of Defence]

WASHINGTON -- The Afghan government must be involved in talks between the United States and the Taliban if a push for a peace deal is to succeed, a top US general said Tuesday (February 5).

A months-long drive by the United States to engage with the Taliban has been aimed at persuading them to talk to Kabul.

"Ultimately, we need to get to a Taliban-Afghanistan discussion," Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command, told US lawmakers. "Only they will be able to resolve the key issues involved in the dispute."

The development comes as US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad continues efforts towards a peace deal with the Taliban.


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani after a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on July 9, 2018. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

"I would characterise where we are in the process as very, very early," Votel said.

"Ambassador Khalilzad is attempting to create a framework by which we can move forward with discussions," he said. "That would be certainly involving the government of Afghanistan."

President Ashraf Ghani said he had spoken to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who "underscored the central importance of ensuring the centrality of the Afghan government in the peace process".

"Secretary Pompeo stressed that there is no uncertainty and ambiguity about the US commitment to Afghanistan and our enduring partnership," Ghani tweeted Tuesday.

"The Secretary also stressed that our military partnership is unwavering and will remain until a lasting and inclusive peace is achieved," he said. "We both agreed that words, rumours, and speculations cannot replace actions and that our partnership and resolve will remain strong in the pursuit of peace."

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There will be no peace for as long as our people are not involved in the decision making process vis-à-vis peace. Khalilzad cannot simply ignore the demands of majority of our people and sign a peace treaty with terrorists without our approval.


This is our right to live in peaceful invirnoment so we must all estimate a peaceful effort to stabilize forever peace in the area whic is indeed very very nacessarly and need for the yuonger democracy. If Taliban and their supporter really want to stable peace in Afganistan they must participate the nex election. If the others saides who say that we support democracy aruond the world they should encourage and applay strong pressure on that kind of people and gruop which don't like or don't want to be stablize democracy in Afghanistan so we appriciate and thank you for high cooperation, we really need to the really peace which will be forever peace in the area, if peace come to the area that mean is that peace and stability is stable around the whole wourld and every parts of the green Earth so every one have the right and responsibility to release their own idea and vice to make the world peaceful and also the people of Afganistan don't want war any more. In the end of requsted to escort and support our sweet country Afghanistan.