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US’s efforts to lift obstacles before intra-Afghan talks

AT News

KABUL: The US government is trying hard to remove some obstacles made on the way to intra-Afghan dialogues.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to pay a visit to Kabul for this purpose.

US President Donald Trump has assured Taliban’s head of political office Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in the first ever phone call that he would send Pompeo soon to Kabul to resolve some problems seem to have been before the intra-Afghan dialogue plan.

Taliban signed a peace deal with the United States on February 29th in Qatar based on which the two sides are committed not to attack each other’s forces.

But the accord does not include the Afghan security forces, who came under the militants attacks in different provinces soon after the week-long reduction of violence was over in the weekend.

Taliban demand the release of thousands of their fighters held by the government as a precondition to intra-Afghan talks which is believed to make two sides lead the peace politically.

But President Ashraf Ghani refused the demand, insisting on talks without any conditions.

Sources familiar with the peace progresses, say that Washington is also making efforts to resolve post-election crisis in Afghanistan in addition to encourage the war parties to talks.

Meanwhile, political figures in Kabul say that Washington is working with Ghani administration to reach a mutual understanding on the intra-Afghan dialogues and to form a negotiating team.

Baradar asked Trump to take practical steps over the Afghan peace process and US withdrawal. He also called on the US president not to let anybody stand against peace process by any pretexts.

Suhail Shahin, spokesman of the group’s political office, said on Twitter that Trump should emphasize on the removal of obstacles from intra-Afghan talks.

“President Trump has said that his secretary of state would be soon in Kabul to talk to Kabul administration for the intra-Afghan negotiations. He also spoke on the agreement signed between two sides and its implementation.”

Abdul Hakim Mujahid, Ambassador to the United Nations during Taliban rule, said that according to the US-Taliban agreement, 6,000 militants were expected to be released from Afghan custody 10 days after the deal and then the intra-Afghan talks be held.

But he said that the process faced some obstacles which needs Washington’s help to remove.

Ghani has not yet introduced the negotiation team while his rival in last year election Abdullah Abdullah appointed a six-member delegation to hold talks to Taliban.

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