Top US General Meets With Taliban Peace Negotiators
The US military’s top general met in Doha, Qatar with peace negotiators from the Taliban. During the two-hour meeting on Tuesday, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called on the insurgent Islamic fundamentalist movement to reduce the level of violence and to continue to move toward a political solution in Afghanistan.
The meeting was not made public until Thursday. Milley, who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2014, reportedly also met Taliban officials in June in an unannounced meeting.
On Wednesday, Milley flew to Kabul to meet to discuss the peace process with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
The Taliban has been waging a civil war in Afghanistan for the last two decades. The United States invaded Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban from power in 2001. The Trump Administration is planning to pull some 2,000 troops out of Afghanistan in the coming weeks, leaving about 2,500 in place. Talks between the government of Afghanistan and representatives of the Taliban began in September in Qatar. Earlier this month the two sides reached an agreement to continue peace talks, but they were paused until Jan. 5, 2021.