NATO denies strategy shift in Afghanistan
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 7/17/18, 11:32 am
The NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan on Tuesday rejected claims that the United States was open to negotiating with the Taliban to end the country’s 17-year war. The Taliban has repeatedly rejected direct talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, asking instead to talk with U.S. negotiators. “The United States is not a substitute for the Afghan people or the Afghan government,” mission commander Gen. John Nicholson said in a statement.
“The United States will support, facilitate, and participate in these peace discussions, but peace must be decided by the Afghans and settled among them,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after a July 9 meeting with Ghani in the capital city of Kabul. In a Monday night attack, Taliban insurgents killed nine police officers at a checkpoint in Kandahar province. The United Nations mission in Afghanistan on Sunday said 1,692 civilians died from fighting in the first six months of this year.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.