US Secretary of State Pompeo claims low Al Qaeda numbers in Afghanistan
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday welcomed the beginning of the intra-Afghan talks, and said that for the first time in 20 years Afghans have sat down to solve the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.
Speaking at an Atlantic Council think tank event, Pompeo call the Doha meeting a US success.
“For the first time now in 20 years, Afghans sat down together to begin to pound out what a reconciled, peaceful Afghanistan might look like. Under no illusions about who we’re negotiating with, who these parties are, how difficult that process will be, but it’s again, it’s a recognition of the reality that things that America has accomplished,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo also said that now there are fewer than 200 Al Qaeda left in Afghanistan.
“There’s fewer than 200 Al Qaeda left in Afghanistan today. We are now delivering a set of outcomes that will reduce costs.” Pompeo added.
Meanwhile, the Eurasia Group Foundation found in its new report, which was published on Monday, that nearly 62% of Americans said they backed an agreement signed in February between the US and Taliban after they were provided with the details.
The report says that Americans prefer diplomacy over military intervention, want negotiations with adversaries like the Taliban and would rejoin international agreements the country has pulled out of under President Donald Trump.
“If the Taliban were for peace in Afghanistan, they would have responded to the widespread Afghan and international claims for a ceasefire. Instead, the Taliban continues to rely on violence for political leverage. And we have seen this recently. This includes political assassinations,” said in an interview with David Isby, an expert on Afghanistan politics, on Skype.
Iran says Washington is trying to disrupt security in the region.
“Unfortunately, our experience in the region shows that statements made by the United States are based on corrupt reports and that’s how they started wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq, on this basis. In the Iraq war, we observed how they announced it was based on a corrupt lie and they (the US) achieved nothing. Unfortunately, the US style and the style of the current president of the US (Donald Trump) has had no achievements and only disturbs peace in the region and in the world,” said Ali Rabiei, Iranian government spokesman.
US optimism about the peace deal has risen as the United States and the Taliban reach an agreement after 18 months, but it is not yet clear how long it will take to reach an agreement in the Afghans talks.
Source: Tolo News