A senior U.S. senator urged the Trump administration to not agree to “absurd” demands of the Taliban militant group for the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan within 18 months.
“I hope the Trump Administration will not give into absurd Taliban demands for US withdrawal within 18 months, regardless of conditions on the ground,” Lindsey Graham said in a tweet on Friday.
Graham said that the U.S. presence in Afghanistan is an “insurance policy against the reemergence of al-Qaeda/ISIS types.
“We now have a small US military footprint, along with our allies, that is an insurance policy against the reemergence of al-Qaeda/ISIS types and help hold Afghanistan together,” he said.
“How Afghanistan turns out is vitally important to our own national security interests as this is the place it all started on 9/11,” Graham added.
“We need a good deal, not a fake deal,” he stressed.
The comments come as the U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is getting ready for another Afghan peace mission.
Khalilzad said in a tweet that he held talks with Ambassador of Germany, India’s Ambassador and Uzbekistan Foreign Minister on Friday to “consult” with them about the Afghan peace process.
“Getting ready to launch on another mission in hope of making further progress,” Khalilzad said.