The current “political conditions” in Afghanistan do not merit a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, despite President Donald Trump’s goal of a drawdown, the U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. Central Command, has said.
“The political conditions, where we are in the reconciliation right now, don’t merit that,” Joseph Votel told the House Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington on Thursday.
“These decisions have to be based more on conditions than specific times” and must “pivot off political progress,” he added.
His remarks come as U.S. and Taliban representatives are holding peace talks in Qatar aimed at ending the nearly two decades of war in Afghanistan.
The withdrawal of American troops and preventing Afghanistan being used against the United States and its allies are the two main topics as the two sides discussing on before reaching into a final agreement.
“Comprehensive discussions are taking place about these two subjects. Other issues that have an internal aspect and are not tied to the United States are have not been held under discussion,” the Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.