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Top U.S. general warns Taliban against wasting time

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KABUL: A senior U.S. military official in the region, Kenneth McKenzie, has warned the Taliban insurgents that they have a ‘little time’ to fulfill their commitments for peace, the reduction in violence in particular.

McKenzie who holds the US Central Command, had earlier said that his country had decreased the number of its troops in Afghanistan from 12,000 to 8,600 as part of a peace deal Washington signed with the Taliban in February.

He had also said that the complete US withdrawal planned for mid-2021, depends on the Taliban’s commitments.

According to the peace deal, Taliban should cut relations with international terrorist groups especially the al-Qaeda, an organization responsible for the September 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.

The insurgents had vowed not to let any group use Afghan soil as a platform to attack the United States and its allies in Europe.

But now General McKenzie doubts the militants have had done anything to cut ties with al-Qaeda, whose leader Osama bin Laden enjoyed Taliban’s hospitality before the 09/11 attacks.

“There are evidences that show Taliban’s ties with al-Qaeda. There are many tough questions that need to be answered by Taliban,” said Stefano Pontecorvo, NATO’s new senior civilian representative for Afghanistan.

The NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had earlier called on the militants to reduce violence and cut relations with all international terrorist groups.

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