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Chief Afghan peace envoy says US troops pulling out too soon – Times of India


ANKARA: Afghanistan’s chief peace envoy Abdullah Abdullah mentioned on Saturday that the US determination to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan has come too quickly, as his nation remains to be struggling to achieve peace and safety amid an ongoing battle.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Abdullah additionally described as “shocking” an Australian army report that discovered proof that elite Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghan prisoners.
He welcomed a call by Australian authorities to pursue the perpetrators.
Abdullah spoke in Ankara the place he sought Turkey’s assist for negotiations between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban which are happening in Qatar to seek out an finish to a long time of battle. The talks have made little progress to this point.
“This is the decision of the US administration and we respect it,” Abdullah mentioned of the US determination this week to scale back troops ranges in Afghanistan from greater than 4,500 to 2,500.
“Our preference would have been that with the conditions improving, this should have taken place.”
Acting US defence 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 carry US forces house.
Afghan officers have expressed considerations {that a} speedy discount in American troops might strengthen the negotiating hand of the Taliban, whereas the militants are nonetheless waging a full-fledged insurgency in opposition to authorities forces.
“It’s not like things will go as we wish,” Abdullah mentioned, including nonetheless, that he welcomed the actual fact 2,500 troops will stay and that Nato may even retain its presence.
The chief negotiator mentioned he was assured that the United States will proceed to assist peace talks between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban throughout President-elect Joe Biden‘s administration.
“What form or what shape it will take that remains to be seen but they will certainly push for a peaceful settlement,” Abdullah mentioned.
Abdullah, who shared energy in Afghanistan’s final authorities as chief govt and earlier than that as overseas minister, cautioned that “a comprehensive settlement will come as a result of the negotiation between the Afghan government and the Taliban,” no matter any potential new enter by the brand new US administration.
Washington signed a cope with the Taliban in February to pave the way in which for the Doha talks and American forces’ eventual withdrawal. The Americans championed the deal as Afghanistan’s finest probability 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 shocking,” Abdullah mentioned of the report, however welcomed the truth that Australia had “come clear about it.” He added, “there is the promise, the prospect of prosecution for those who have committed these heinous crimes that will count. This will help preventing these types of crimes.”
The high Afghan official additionally mentioned he had requested Turkey to “reenergize” its efforts in assist of the peace course of, and steered that Turkey appoint a “special envoy” to assist the negotiations.

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