Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo had a telephone conversation with the government of Afghanistan. The press service of the Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah was first to inform about discussion with the the chief of American diplomacy.
The Office of Chief Executive said in a statement that the American administration hailed Chief Executive Abdullah for his support to peace efforts and intension to reduce the violence. An hour later, the press office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement about a telephone conversation between the US Secretary of State and the head of Afghanistan.
It is worth to not, until now Ghani have refused a partial reduction in violence, demanding complete ceasefire with the Taliban. This time, he expressed approval of a partial reconciliation plan. Earlier, the matter made the peace talks negotiations between the US and the Taliban complicated: as a new way forward for peace talks, the Taliban offered a short truce and implementation of the short ceasefire, not complete ceasefire.
Probably, the US President Office, for whom it is important to sign the agreement as soon as possible, had arguments to urge Ghani in approving the plan.
According to the New York Times, the White House is ready to continue peace deal talks with the Taliban, demanding the demonstrable evidence of their will and capacity to reduce violence, to take down the threat, during the “trial period”. The deadline is the end of this month, according to informed sources of the publication. If the Taliban fulfill this simple condition, then the United States will start to cut the number of foreign troops in Afghanistan. This issue was among other topics in the agenda of the talks between Michael Pompeo and the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
In a conversation with TASS News Agency, Mohammad Sohail Shaheen, the official representative of a political office of the Taliban in the Qatari capital, Doha, in turn, confirmed: “We will refrain from large-scale attacks in the days of the signing of the agreement to ensure safe conditions for seven days. Significant progress has been made in the negotiation process. Details will be provided later and at the appropriate time.”
Other politicians also commented the negotiation process between the US and the Taliban, including former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who hailed the recent advances in a peace talks. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed a partial reconciliation as well. “The Taliban must understand they cannot win on the battlefield,” NATO Secretary-General emphasized. “They must commit to a reduction in violence, and show that they are genuinely committed to a peaceful future for Afghanistan.”
All this gives hopes that the recent developments would pave the way for the signing of a bilateral agreement between the US and the Taliban, which was postponed last year due to the many reasons, and a peace deal will be released soon. However, it seems that there was another main issue in the telephone conversation with Pompeo. Under the proposed peace agreement negotiated by Taliban and American officials, the insurgents would be bound to engage in intra-Afghan negotiations. Obviously, without the consent of all parties inside Afghanistan, including President Ghani, this process will be go hard. The same applies to other players in the region, who have influence on the dynamics of the war conflict.