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Pompeo pushes for Doha talks

He says a comprehensive peace agreement would end the suffering and destruction in Afghanistan 

AT News Report

KABUL: US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke on April 20 with President Ashraf Ghani, where he condemned the Taliban’s recent announcement of a spring offensive and underscored the United States’ solidarity with the Afghan people’s pursuit of a comprehensive peace agreement that would end the suffering and destruction.

According to US Department of State statement, he also expressed the United States’ disappointment that the intra-Afghan dialogue, planned for Doha, Qatar, had been postponed.

The Secretary and President Ghani agreed that the Doha conference presents an important opportunity to advance peace, the statement added.

The Secretary encouraged all sides to seize the moment and reach an understanding on participants, so that an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue can be convened in Doha as soon as possible, it added.

This comes as the Taliban announced their spring offensive on April 12 in the wake of efforts by US and Afghan government to bring them into table of talks to find a negotiation settlement in the Afghan conflict.

Unfortunately, the intra-Afghan talks salted for April 19-21 was revoked by Qatari government. According to Presidential Palace the meeting was canceled on the disagreement of Qatari government with the Afghan delegation.

Taliban also mocked 250-member delegation of Afghan government, saying it is a formal meeting in a gulf country, not a weeding party in one of Kabul hotels.

However, the revocation earned harsh criticism and disappointment among Afghan and US officials, as it could a taken as a big loss of opportunity towards ending the war, or at least advancing peace process.

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