Afghanistan hails Pentagon chief’s remarks on peace

EYEAFRICA TV: Kabul, Afghanistan: Afghanistan has welcomed latest remarks made by the Pentagon chief on the controversial peace deal with the Taliban.
Sediq Sediqqi, spokesperson for Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, said in a series of tweets on Saturday that the Kabul government welcomed the latest remarks made by Pentagon Chief. “ … We echo the need for sustainable peace, end of violence and a meaningful peace that would guarantee the security of Afghanistan and its allies,” he tweeted.
This was in response to latest remarks by U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper who said on Saturday that while Washington was seeking a political agreement with the Taliban, it would not accept just ‘any deal’.
“The United States’ view is that the best way forward is a political agreement and that (is what) we’re working diligently on right now, that doesn’t mean we’ll take any deal,” Secretary Esper said during a press conference in Paris with his French counterpart.
The Pentagon chief further said: “We will make sure we have a good deal, a good enough deal that guarantees at least the security of our countries going forward and a brighter path ahead for the Afghan people.”
Over last weekend, Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, announced to have clinched an agreement “in principle” with the Taliban pending approval from U.S. President Donald Trump that would see an initial withdrawal of 5,000 American troops within 135 days.
Afghanistan has witnessed an alarming spike in violence claiming lives on all sides amid ongoing rejuvenated yet fragile peace talks.
Waheed Omar, the director general of the Office of Public and Strategic Affairs, said in a series of tweets earlier this week that ‘some of the details of the US-TB (Taliban) agreement needed serious debate and revision’.
The Afghan government sees postponement of the Sep. 28 presidential elections – something the Taliban demand – as rolling back of the state-building process and surrendering to the insurgents.

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