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Wilson sticks up for U.S. presence as Taliban deal nears

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KABUL: The United States and its allies have no plans to leave Afghanistan like the Soviets three decades ago, the acting U.S. Ambassador Ross Wilson insisted Monday, as the U.S. and the Taliban are inching toward a historic peace deal – signalling a pullout.

Amid an impending peace agreement highly likely to be brokered between Washington and Taliban, Ross Wilson who was addressing Peace and Economy Debate underscored that America and its allies will remain committed to Afghanistan.

He insisted that the U.S., NATO, and other allies including Norway and Australia and many other countries as well as all government and nongovernment American institutions will not abandon Afghanistan, “to avoid the repetition of infightings and conflict that ensued the abrupt pullout of Soviet Union in 1990”.

He touted intra-Afghan peace negotiations as ‘arduous and significant’, enumerating security and politics as the underlying factors in those talks.

Former ambassador to Pakistan, Omar Zakhilwal, and Minister of Economy, Mostafa Mastoor, were in attendance in the meeting and emphasized that a durable peace should overlap with a sustainable economy.

Participants of the meeting underscored that foundation of direct foreign investment has been decimated in Afghanistan over past five years and it is necessary that economic development tops the agenda of future intra-Afghan peace talks.

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