Pompeo offers support for Taliban peace talks during surprise Afghan visit

Pompeo offers support for Taliban peace talks during surprise Afghan visit
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump’s damage control falters State Dept. doesn’t issue statement on anniversary of MH17 downing Diplomatic niceties can blur the lines of personal and national interests MORE on Monday said the U.S. would be willing to take part in peace talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban.

Pompeo promised to support Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s plan to engage in negotiations during a surprise visit to Kabul.

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Ghani has offered peace talks to the Taliban several times, and the militant group has so far rejected his requests.

Pompeo said the proposed talks would be Afghan-led, with the U.S. playing a supporting role.

“An American role will be important in this, but we can’t run the peace talks, we can’t settle this from the outside,” Pompeo said, according to a transcript of his remarks.

“If we think only in one day, a 40-year crisis can be ended we are being unrealistic,” Ghani told Pompeo.

During a press conference with Pompeo and Gani, Pompeo said the Trump administration’s strategy of sending more U.S. troops into Afghanistan to push the Taliban toward negotiations is “indeed working.”

The war in Afghanistan has gone on for 17 years. Though a recent ceasefire gave people hope that an end is in sight, it lasted for only three days, according to The Washington Post.

—Updated at 3:01 p.m.