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article imageOp-Ed: US pauses peace talks after Taliban attack on Bagram air base

By Ken Hanly     Dec 14, 2019 in Politics
Last September as the US Taliban talks had reached a deal in principle, President Trump declared the talks dead after a Taliban attack that killed one US soldier among others. Trump was angered at the attack even though no ceasefire had been agreed,
US officials suggested that the attack showed that the Taliban did not want peace. However, the US also carried out attacks, Both sides appeared to use the attacks as leverage to gain in the negotiations.
US again reacts negatively to Taliban attack
Talks have just resumed again and the US declared the whole process paused because of a Taliban attack, a suicide attack on the US Bagram Air Base last Wednesday that killed two civilians and wounded dozens of others. A recent article reports on the incident: "Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday expressed "outrage about attack in Bagram" and said the talks in the Qatari capital Doha would resume after the Taliban "consult their leadership on this essential topic"."Taliban must show they are willing & [and] able to respond to Afghan desire for peace," Khalilzad said in a tweet." US officials said there would be a brief pause in the talks meant to express outrage over the attack. Trump has made it clear that he wants a ceasefire as part of any agreement.
Again there has been no ceasefire agreed to and both sides are continuing to carry out attacks. At least this time the talks are just paused not called off entirely as after the first incident. Perhaps the US is pressuring the Taliban to agree to a cease fire,
The Taliban response
The Taliban response ignored the Bagram attack for which they had claimed responsibility and was optimistic: "Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said Friday's meeting was "very good and friendly"."Both sides decided to resume the talks after a few days of break for consultation," he said." It seems that the Taliban are brushing off the US criticism and acting as if the situation is positive for continuation.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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