Closing Afghan war needs 'actions not words' from Trump: Taliban
US President Donald Trump in the State of the Union address has endorsed peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, saying his administration is working to end America’s longest war to bring troops back home from that country.
The Afghan insurgent group swiftly responded to Tuesday night’s remarks by Trump, saying “practical steps and not words” from the American leader would help end the 18-year-old conflict.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told VOA when asked for his group’s reaction to Trump’s statement that the Afghan war is not in anyone’s interest. “We also want that America closes this war to bring its occupation (of Afghanistan) to an end and let Afghans freely decide their future,” Mujahid said. “But it is important that actions must speak louder than rhetoric and promises,” the spokesman insisted.
US and Taliban representatives have been holding meetings for more than a year, trying to negotiate a peace deal that would set the stage for a gradual withdrawal of roughly 13,000 American troops from the country.
If signed, the proposed US-Taliban agreement would also seek an immediate resumption of Taliban-Afghan negotiations on a permanent nationwide ceasefire and future power-sharing in post-war Afghanistan. But the dialogue has suffered repeated setbacks in recent months, with both sides accusing the other of stalling the process.