As talks between the U.S. delegation led by special envoy Zalmay Khalizad and the Taliban representatives continue in Qatar, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he hopes Khalilzad makes enough progress for him to travel there in a couple of weeks and help move it forward.
Pompeo said the U.S. is trying to negotiate with the Taliban to find a way to achieve an Afghanistan that not engage in war, violence and present a threat to the United States and also respect fundamental basic rights for every Afghan citizen including women and children.
But he said talks with the Taliban is a complicated negotiation.
“…That is a complicated problem, and if you add in the regional players – Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, Russia, all who have an interest in Afghanistan – it’s an incredibly complicated negotiation,” Pompeo said after his address at Future Farmers of America event in lowa on Monday.
The U.S. and the Taliban began their latest round of talks on February 25. The sides took a two-day break for internal deliberations before regrouping on March 2.
Pompeo said Khalilzad who was leading American efforts in this regard, was on the ground trying to “find pockets where there’s sufficient agreement that everyone can begin to move forward, take all the various complex pieces and bring them together” to hopefully get an agreement.
He stressed that the Afghan agreement would be “based on fundamental understandings about different interests and incentives” that the parties had so that this agreement would hold and stay.
“In this case, if we could do this, if we could pull off a resolution in Afghanistan, boy, the good that we could do for the world,” Pompeo said.
“I hope Ambassador Khalilzad makes progress. I’m hoping he makes enough progress I can travel there in a couple weeks and help move it along a little bit myself,” he added.