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Taliban violence undermining peace in Afghanistan: NATO

04 Jul 2020 Afghanistan Times

AT News KABUL: The NATO Civilian Representative to Afghanistan, Stefano Pontecorvo said that the Taliban violence had to “go down” as it periling the Afghan peace process. “The Taliban violence has to go down. It is simply unacceptable,” Pontecorvo said in a video clip after wrapping up North Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels. This comes as the US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad has held talks with Taliban members in Doha, and met Tashkent authorities in regards to the Afghan peace process. He also held meeting with Pakistani authorities to get their support for a political settlement. “Mullah Baradar (head of the Taliban Qatar based office) and his team were engaged and the Taliban recognize all Afghans will have to make compromises in order to draw in the required investment in Afghanistan’s future,” Khalilzad said in a tweet on Friday.   Pontecorvo had once again reiterated NATO’s support to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in fighting against the international terrorism. Carmen Romero, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy said that NATO remained committed to supporting a lasting peace in Afghanistan. But the peace process seems to be once again facing walls as the US and Taliban are exchanging allegation on each other for being failed to fulfill the preliminary peace deal signed between them on February 29th, laying out American troop reductions and the Taliban prisoner releases. The Taliban on Friday denied the Pentagon’s report which said the militants links ties with the al-Qaeda terrorists, saying that the reports are aimed to distract the mindset of the Afghanistan people. The Pentagon in a report to the US congress accused the Taliban of remaining linked to the al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent branch even after signing the peace deal with the US. The Washington Post quoted some anonymity top US military commanders, who have confirmed some tentative reports by the White House that suggest the remaining of around 4,000 American soldiers in Afghanistan. The US ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison said that she had discussed the progress in Afghanistan with the NATO top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller. “NATO allies and partners are ensuring soil is never again used to launch an attack on our countries,” she added.

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