Pompeo meets republic, Taliban negotiating teams in Doha

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KABUL: The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday met the Afghan and the Taliban negotiators in Doha on Saturday, stressing expedition of the negotiating process in Doha.  


The US State Department principal deputy spokesperson Cale Brown said that Pompeo met with Taliban political deputy and head of the political office Mullah Baradar and called for a significant reduction in violence and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. 


“Met with both Taliban and Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s negotiating teams in Doha. I commend both sides for continuing to negotiate and for the progress they have made. I encourage expedited discussions on a political roadmap and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” Pompeo stated in his Twitter account. 


Both the negotiating teams also confirmed the meeting. Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, Minister of State for Peace Affairs and a member of the republican negotiating team, said “I with representatives of our negotiation team had the privilege to discuss the Afghan peace process with Pompeo.”


He thanked the United States for its continued support to Afghanistan over the years, saying “We all shared the same dire concern regarding the unacceptable level of violence in Afghanistan. I emphasized on the enduring partnership between US & Afghanistan.”


Naderi also called on the US to continue supporting Afghanistan even once a peace agreement was signed.


However, the Taliban’s Doha political office spokesman, Naeem Wardak, said the meeting stressed the enforcement of the US-Taliban agreement. “Likewise, the removal from Blacklist, the liberation of remaining prisoners and the topics related to Intra-Afghan negotiations were talked about,” he stated. 


Meanwhile, about a meeting with Qatari foreign minister Al Thani in Doha, Pompeo said “We appreciate Qatar’s ongoing support as a host to the Afghan peace negotiations. A united Gulf remains crucial for countering Iran’s malign influence in the region.”


Pompeo’s visit comes a day after a barrage of rockets struck Kabul’s densely populated areas, killing at least eight people and wounding scores of others. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the so-called Islamic State-Khurasan (IS-K).