The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalizad has reacted to the threats by Taliban group regarding the suspension of peace talks.
“If the Talibs want to talk, we can talk. If they want to fight, we can fight. We hope that the Talibs want to make peace,” Ambassador Khalilzad has said.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul in a statement said Ambassador Khalilzad made the remarks during a roundtable discussion with Afghan media on Wednesday.
Ambassador Khalilzad has further added “But if they (Taliban) do not choose to come to the table, if they choose to continue fighting, the United States will stand with the Afghan people and the Afghan government and support them. We in the coalition are proud of our support to Afghan security forces. Afghan security forces and military pressure are important in this phase.”
This comes as Taliban had earlier issued a statement threatening that the group would suspend talks if Washington refuses the inclusion of troops withdrawal in the agenda of the talks.
The group issued a statement late on Tuesday claiming that “the Unites States agreed during Doha meeting in the month of November 2018 about discussing the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and preventing Afghanistan from being used against other countries in the upcoming meeting.”
The statement further adds that the United States is backing away from that agenda and is unilaterally adding new subjects.