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Pompeo wants Afghan warring leaders to unify

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KABUL: The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touted the government of Afghanistan’s team of peace negotiators and called on warring Afghan leaders to try to form an all-inclusive government.

Pompeo in a tweet touted the Afghan leaders for preparing an inclusive negotiating team to make intra-Afghan negotiations successful. He also ‘applauded’ Kabul’s commitment to begin releasing prisoners. “I also applaud your commendable effort to set conditions for peace and reconciliation,” he said.

US Secretary of State urged the warring Afghan leaders to show the same commitment with which they forged the peace team to the effort to form an inclusive government. “This step plus decisions already taken can help all Afghans realize a brighter future,” he said.

The Afghan government introduced on Thursday night its 21-member peace team headed by ex-spymaster Masoum Stanekzai to spearhead negotiations with the Taliban.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and U.S. embassy in Kabul have welcomed the announcement of the peace team. The Taliban, however, opposed the negotiation team on Saturday arguing that it is against its agreement with the United States. Taliban has said that Kabul’s peace negotiation team is not all-inclusive and that it won’t start talks with it.

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