Chief Afghan peace envoy says US troops pulling out too quickly


ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Afghanistan’s chief peace envoy Abdullah Abdullah mentioned Saturday that the U.S. determination to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan has come too quickly, as his nation continues to be struggling to realize peace and safety amid an ongoing battle.

In an interview with The Related Press, Abdullah additionally described as “surprising” an Australian army report that discovered proof that elite Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghan prisoners. He welcomed a choice by Australian authorities to pursue the perpetrators.

Abdullah spoke in Ankara the place he sought Turkey’s help for negotiations between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban which might be happening in Qatar to search out an finish to many years of battle. The talks have made little progress thus far.

“That is the choice of the usadministration and we respect it,” Abdullah mentioned of the U.S. determination this week to scale back troops ranges in Afghanistan from greater than 4,500 to 2,500. “Our desire would have been that with the situations bettering, this could have taken place.”

Performing U.S. Protection Secretary Christopher Miller introduced that Washington would cut back troop ranges in Iraq and Afghanistan by mid-January, in keeping with President Donald Trump’s pledge to deliver U.S. forces house.

Afghan officers have expressed issues {that a} speedy discount in American troops may strengthen the negotiating hand of the Taliban, whereas the militants are nonetheless waging a full-fledged insurgency towards authorities forces.

“It’s not like issues will go as we want,” Abdullah mentioned, including nonetheless, that he welcomed the very fact 2,500 troops will stay and that NATO can even retain its presence.

The chief negotiator mentioned he was assured that america will proceed to help peace talks between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban throughout President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

“What type or what form it would take that is still to be seen however they are going to actually push for a peaceable settlement,” Abdullah mentioned.

Abdullah, who shared energy in Afghanistan’s final authorities as chief government and earlier than that as overseas minister, cautioned that “a complete settlement will come on account of the negotiation between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban,” no matter any doable new enter by the brand new U.S. administration.

Washington signed a cope with the Taliban in February to pave the best way for the Doha talks and American forces’ eventual withdrawal. The People championed the deal as Afghanistan’s greatest likelihood at an enduring peace.

Abdullah’s conferences with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and different Turkish officers got here days after Australia revealed a report into battle crimes that discovered proof that elite Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghan prisoners, farmers and civilians.

“It was surprising,” Abdullah mentioned of the report, however welcomed the truth that Australia had “come clear about it. ”

He added: “there may be the promise, the prospect of prosecution for many who have dedicated these heinous crimes that can rely. This can assist stopping a majority of these crimes.”

The highest Afghan official additionally mentioned he had requested Turkey to “reenergize” its efforts in help of the peace course of, and advised that Turkey appoint a “particular envoy” to help the negotiations.

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