Reports of U.S. scaling back operations in Afghanistan untrue

Cheryl Sanders
August 18, 2019

"Both sides agreed to consult their respective leaderships for next steps", he wrote on Twitter.

A few defence authorities reveal to CNN Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper are also relied upon to be available.

As reported by UPI, U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted Sunday.: "We've concluded this round of talks that started August 3 between the U.S. and the Taliban".

"There are no official descriptions of the terms of the peace that the Administration is now seeking to negotiate, but media reports indicate that it may be considering a full (troop) withdrawal within a year of a ceasefire, and other reports indicate that it is considering a 50% cut in US military personnel even if a peace is not negotiated", he wrote.

The Taliban on Tuesday said that work on the agreement with the USA to seek a way out of almost two decades of conflict in Afghanistan is complete, although it added that the sides would meet after final consultations and the agreement will be signed in the presence of global guarantors.

The major topic will be Afghanistan and the plan that Taliban negotiator, Zalmay Khalilizad, has been working on for months to end the conflict there, according to two sources familiar with the planning. "We couldn't outsource that to the Afghan government and the Taliban wouldn't accept that in any case because they didn't think the Afghan government spoke for our military forces".

Hopes for a more stable peace in Afghanistan have been boosted following a meeting between representatives of the Taliban and of the US-backed Afghan government. "The US agreement with the Taliban will not mean that there will be a Talibanisation of Afghanistan, but it will indicate a start to the intra-Afghan dialogue", said a source close to the Afghan government who spoke on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorised to brief media.

"This is not correct", he said when his attention was drawn to reports that the eighth round of negotiations between the Taliban and the United States had failed to reach an agreement.

The conflict has become America's longest-ever war and has ground into a stalemate, with neither side able to defeat the other and casualties rising among civilians as well as combatants.

To a question as to how the peace agreement will be signed, Khairkhawa said when both sides finalise all details of the accord about the two issues then witnesses and guarantors, including representatives of the UN, OIC and neighbouring countries, will be invited to witness the signing ceremony. It also sees the Taliban as a counter force to Islamic State's Afghan affiliate.

Baradar led a 12-member delegation to Uzbekistan where they also met the country's Foreign Minister Kamilov after 20 years since he held first talks with Mullah Muttawakil, Taliban Foreign Minister in 1999 in Kandahar.

"If any issue remains unresolved then we will meet after Eid", the Taliban leader said.

"Our presence in Afghanistan is conditions-based, and any withdrawal will be conditional", the U.S. envoy has said. Eid Mubarak. I hope this is the last Eid where Afghanistan is at war.

But Pompeo has also promised to follow through on Trump's "directive" to have all United States troops out by the 2020 USA presidential election. I know Afghans yearn for peace. This has not happened, but recent days have been relatively calm.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is considering sending another top U.S. official, such as Pompeo or Bolton, to Afghanistan, while Khalilizad is in Doha to sign a declaration of peace.

The State Department and the NSC did not reply to requests for comment.

Other reports by iNewsToday