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Former envoy bills US-Taliban talks as important

Former envoy bills US-Taliban talks as important

Aug 01, 2018 - 08:55

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Direct US-Talibaninfo-icon talks are an important development in efforts to end the 12-year-old conflict, says a former Afghan diplomat.

In an interview published on Wednesday, the ex-ambassador hailed the talks as the most serious diplomatic effort for peace in the war-torn country.

Omar Samad, former ambassador to Canada and France, told Sputnik: “It’s definitely significant and it comes as part of a mini-review of US policy that is about a year old now.”

He believed the Trump administration was studying different options after a year of pushing its South Asia policy that was still implementable to some extent.

“What we’re seeing now is the opening of second track as part of this policy, whereby the US is trying to engage the Taliban into discussing issues that both sides would like to discuss.”

Samad warned there were risks involved as far as the next steps were concerned, because the exact agenda was still under wraps.

An agreement on the agenda would not be easy because the Taliban wanted was to discuss withdrawal of the US troops in a time period, he suggested.

“They do not seem to be ready or willing to discuss anything beyond that that has to do with the Afghan government on a political settlement of the issue.

“I think the second track of the US policy is still applicable, which means they will want to make sure that security in Afghanistaninfo-icon does not deteriorate…”

He underlined the need for a long-term strategic view of what Afghanistan to achieve, as well as shorter-term policies to help it achieve those objectives.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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