Resolute Support Refutes Reports That U.S. Ready to Negotiate Directly With Taliban
16 Jul 2018
By: Resolute Support Public Affairs
KABUL, Afghanistan – Resolute Support refutes reports by the media that the Resolute Support commander said the U.S. is ready to join direct negotiations with the Taliban during a visit with Afghan provincial and government representatives in Kandahar, July 16.
"The United States is not a substitute for the Afghan people or the Afghan government,” said U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, Resolute Support commander. "My reaffirmation of Secretary Pompeo’s statement in which he said peace talks would include a discussion of international forces and that the United States is ready to work with the Taliban, the Afghan government and the Afghan people towards lasting peace was mischaracterized.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued his statement, June 16, days after the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's unilateral cease-fire with the Taliban was announced by H.E. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and began, June 12.
"As President Ghani emphasized in his statement to the Afghan people, peace talks by necessity would include a discussion of the role of international actors and forces,” said Pompeo in his statement. "The United States is prepared to support, facilitate, and participate in these discussions.”
The entire statement is available at: https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2018/06/283271.htm
"The U.S. is exploring all avenues to advance a peace process in close consultation with the Afghan government,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Martin L. O’Donnell, Resolute Support spokesman. "But this remains an Afghan-led process.”
Established in 2015, Resolute Support (RS) is a NATO-led, non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), who assumed nationwide responsibility for Afghanistan’s security following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission. Its purpose is to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the capacity to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner.