WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will leave Washington on Thursday (Sept 10) to travel to Doha to take part in the start of long-delayed intra-Afghan peace talks, President Donald Trump said.
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be departing this evening on a historic trip to Doha… for the beginning of intra-Afghan peace negotiations,” he said.
Pompeo earlier on Thursday had welcomed the announcement of talks between Afghanistan’s government and the Taleban, urging them not to squander the “historic opportunity.”
“The start of these talks marks a historic opportunity for Afghanistan to bring an end to four decades of war and bloodshed,” Pompeo said in a statement.
“This opportunity must not be squandered.”
The insurgents and the government have agreed to start long-delayed talks on Saturday aimed at a lasting peace settlement in the war-torn country.
President Donald Trump’s administration is eager to see progress after already agreeing to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan in a deal with the Taleban.
“Immense sacrifice and investment by the United States, our partners and the people of Afghanistan have made this moment of hope possible,” Pompeo said.
“I urge the negotiators to demonstrate the pragmatism, restraint and flexibility this process will require to succeed.”
The talks come one day after the 19th anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks, which triggered America’s longest war.