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Taliban ‘reluctant to negotiate’, US senator

AT News

KABUL: A US Senator has said the Taliban does not eagerly conduct negotiations with the Afghan government, as peace talks have resumed between the two sides after two weeks of stalemate. The Taliban’s recent attacks may have incited these remarks.

Praising the US Air Force’s operation on the Taliban during clashes in southern Helmand province, Graham said, “The militants are not eager to negotiate with the Afghan government.”

On Sunday night, the Taliban attacked several security checkpoints in Helmand. In retaliation, Afghan forces staged a counterassault and killed over 80 Taliban rebels and wounded more than 100. The US Forces’ spokesman in Afghanistan, Sonny Leggett said US forces carried out air strikes in support of Afghan security forces.

“The Taliban need to immediately stop their offensive actions in Helmand Province and reduce their violence around the country. It is not consistent with the US-Taliban agreement and undermines the ongoing Afghan Peace Talks,” Leggett said, while quoting the US and NATO top commander in Afghanistan, Scott Miller. 

Earlier, Graham opposed the US-Taliban peace deal, saying that attacks on the Afghan security forces violated the peace agreement.  He said the US needs to maintain all options to not let Afghanistan once again turned into a safe haven for the terrorists.

Some top US Officials previously told Politico, an American political journalism company, that Graham demanded the White House to maintain some US troops comprised of CIA agents and Special Forces in Afghanistan.

Mohammad Naeem Wardak, the Taliban spokesman in Qatar, where the militants maintain a political office said the Taliban has reduced the violence to lay out talks with the Afghan side.

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