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‘U.S. not prejudging outcome of intra-Afghan talks’

AT Monitoring Desk

KABULL: The US Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Molly Phee, at the US Institute of Peace, said: “We will not prejudge the outcome of intra-Afghan negotiations.”

“But we are prepared to support whatever consensus the Afghans are able to reach about their future political and governing arrangements,” Phee said.

“We believe we have established the conditions that can transform the trajectory of the conflict… It is high time for the parties to begin moving off the battlefield into a political process,” she said.

“Importantly, a US-Taliban agreement will open the door to negotiations among the Afghan government, the Taliban, and other key Afghan leaders,” she added.

She mentioned that if “this test period is implemented successfully; it should lead to the signing of a US-Taliban agreement.”

US President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that there is a chance of making a deal with the Taliban, AP reported.

“So, we are negotiating with the Taliban. We’ve been negotiating with them for a while. We will see what happens. It’s a chance of making a deal. It is a chance,” Trump said.

This follows a public announcement by US Defense Secretary Esper last week that an agreement for a seven-day reduction in violence was on the table at the US-Taliban talks, and also an AP report citing high-level officials saying that President Trump had “conditionally” approved a peace agreement being discussed in Doha, Qatar.

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