Executive Intelligence Review


In Kabul, Pompeo Calls on Taliban To Make Peace in Afghanistan

July 10, 2018 (EIRNS)—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise visit to Kabul yesterday, after his East Asia tour, where he had meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. While there, he reiterated the Trump Administration’s calls for peace talks between Afghanistan’s government and the Taliban. He said the United States is committed to supporting an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace process under which the Taliban could return to the fold if they renounce terrorism, cut ties to al-Qaeda extremists and accept the principles of Afghanistan’s constitution, reported the Associated Press.

Pompeo stressed that the strategy announced last year by President Donald Trump, to increase pressure on the Taliban until they decide to negotiate, was working and would reassure the Afghans of U.S. support. “The strategy sends a clear message to the Taliban that they cannot wait us out,” he said.

The Taliban, despite the three-day ceasefire for Eid al-Fitr, have rejected talks with the government in Kabul. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement on Friday, July 6, saying the insurgents “are not interested in talks while foreign soldiers are still on Afghan soil.” The Taliban have reportedly said that they will only negotiate with the U.S. about the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.