Trump tweet gives Taliban advantage in negotiations
KABUL (AFGHANISTAN) – The top Afghanistan peace official told the Financial Times newspaper that a tweet by President Donald Trump asking US troops to be home by Christmas has given Taliban an advantage in negotiations.
Trump posted the tweet last week, which came few hours after his national security adviser said Washington would bring down its forces in Afghanistan to 2,500 by early next year. The Taliban has welcomed the announcement.
“Nobody has given any clarity,” Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, said in an interview published by the Financial Times on Thursday.
The Taliban “might see it in their advantage” and bounce back with force if the United States withdrew, he said.
Diplomats and officials have given warning that increased violence is affecting the trust that would lead to successful peace talks in Doha.
A Taliban spokesman and an Afghan government negotiator said on Wednesday a few of their negotiators had met after a small break to talk about disputed issues and “present solutions”.
Amnesty International’s head of South Asia, Omar Waraich, said that the situation could worsen rapidly as thousands of people were captured by the fighting.
He said the rights of civilians from both sides are protected and can leave the war zones safely to evade a humanitarian disaster.