Pentagon Assessment Reveals ‘Little Clear Progress’ in Afghan Peace Talks

(Last Updated On: November 20, 2018)

The U.S. and Afghanistan have made “little clear progress” recently in compelling the Taliban to negotiate a peace deal, according to a new assessment conducted by the Pentagon, State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The assessment further says that few gains were made in Afghanistan during the July-September period while the casualties among Afghan security forces were higher compared to the same period last year.

But the U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, has written on his official Twitter account on Monday that he is back to Washington “after another productive trip”.

“The U.S. government is very interested in bringing peace in Afghanistan. We, as Afghanistan’s High Peace Council members, are very hopeful about peace than ever before,” said Azizullah Din Muhammad, Deputy of High Peace Council.

Meanwhile, the European Union Council reaffirms its long-term commitment to support the people of Afghanistan in their path towards peace, security, and prosperity. The Council underlines that the Geneva ministerial conference on Afghanistan on 27-28 November 2018 will be an important opportunity to take stock of progress on mutually agreed reforms made since the Brussels Conference in 2016.

“so many of the Central Asian countries can play a fundamental role in trying to support Afghanistan, together with the European Union, in finding a way to peace and development and security and I think we will be all together next week in Geneva for the conference exactly on Afghanistan,” said Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative while speaking with the reporters at a press conference.

In Kabul, some politicians are optimistic about recent efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“Taliban will not act as they did in the past to disrupt the process. I’m sure that the condition for peace is available and at the same time the Taliban, Afghans, the government of Afghanistan, the United States and the International Community have decided to bring peace in Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Ismail Khan, a former Jihadi leader and current senior member of Jamiat Islami political party.

This comes as, in the last couple of days, President Ashraf Ghani has met a wide range of politicians and political parties to discuss the formation of a national consultative board for peace talks with the Taliban.

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