Milley Meets Taliban In Effort to Clinch Afghan Deal
The United States military revealed over the weekend that US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley flew last week to Qatar to meet with Taliban representatives in an attempt to secure a power-sharing agreement between the former American enemy in Afghanistan and the Afghan government. Envoys of the internationally recognized government in Kabul and the insurgent extremist group which has for nearly two decades fought it have for the past few weeks been engaged in stalled negotiations in Doha. Milley, who according to Reuters had secretly met Taliban officials in June as well, is the first chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to hold meetings with the Islamist organization, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of US troops. In February, Washington reached a cease-fire agreement with the Taliban, under which the US will pull out its military presence in Afghanistan in return for a cessation of hostilities toward local government forces and a negotiated peace deal between the warring sides. Yet, while US President Donald Trump has recently announced a reduction of nearly half of the American troops in Afghanistan, the Taliban has in recent months continued to launch terror attacks against civilians and Afghan security officials.