Gen. Milley stresses violence reduction with Taliban, Afghan Govt.


KABUL: Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has held unannounced talks with the Taliban peace negotiators in Doha to discuss violence reduction in Afghanistan.

According to AP, Gen. Milley met for about two hours with the Taliban negotiators on Tuesday and Wednesday and flew to Kabul to discuss the peace process with President Ashraf Ghani.

“The most important part of the discussions that I had with both the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan was the need for an immediate reduction in violence,” Milley told three reporters, including one from the AP, who accompanied him to Qatar and Afghanistan. “Everything else hinges on that.”

According to the report, Milley had set ground rules for security reasons and the journalists traveling with him had agreed not to report on either set of talks until he had departed the region.

In Kabul, President Ghani met with Gen. Milley on Wednesday evening, the Presidential Palace said, adding: “Both sides expressed their concerns over the escalation of violence in Afghanistan and discussed the Afghan peace process and the immediate need for a ceasefire.”

Gen. Milley also met Afghan Chief of Army Staff Gen. Mohammad Yasin Zia and other Afghan officials.