Reuters Moscow, Russia
Feb 05, 2019, 09.21 PM
The head of a Taliban delegation visiting Moscow said on Tuesday that Afghanistan peace talks with the United States last month had been a success, the Interfax news agency reported.
The United States held peace negotiations with the Taliban in Qatar that ended with signs of progress towards the withdrawal of thousands of foreign troops from Afghanistan and an end to more than 17 years of war.
The head of the delegation, who is in Russia for talks between Taliban militants and opposition politicians, was quoted as saying no agreement had been reached with Washington on a timeframe for a troop pullout, but that he hoped it would happen soon.
A top US general said that talks between the United States and Taliban were in their "very, very early" stages and the Afghan government, so far excluded from talks, would have to be part of the solution.
"I would characterize where we are in the process as very, very early in the process," US General Joseph Votel, head of the US military's Central Command, told a Senate hearing.
"We clearly recognize that they (Afghan government) have to be a part of this solution and must be in the negotiation aspects of this, we can't do that on their behalf."
Votel also said that the United States would need to continue to support Afghan security forces financially even if US troops withdrew from Afghanistan.
A top US general said that talks between the United States and Taliban were in their 'very, very early' stages and the Afghan government, so far excluded from talks, would have to be part of the solution.