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Trump Becomes First U.S. President to Speak With Senior Taliban Leader

WASHINGTON—President Trump explained he spoke to the Taliban’s co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Tuesday to explore the implementation of the offer signed more than the weekend to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, according to statements unveiled afterward. Mr. Trump is thought to be the initially U.S. president to communicate to a senior Taliban figure […]

WASHINGTON—President Trump explained he spoke to the Taliban’s co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Tuesday to explore the implementation of the offer signed more than the weekend to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, according to statements unveiled afterward.

Mr. Trump is thought to be the initially U.S. president to communicate to a senior Taliban figure because the U.S. ousted the team from energy in 2001 for refusing to hand more than al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden immediately after the Sept. eleven assaults. Mr. Trump described their partnership as “very good” and explained the two had a “long conversation.”

“They’re seeking to get this finished and we’re seeking to get it finished,” Mr. Trump informed reporters at the Nationwide Institutes of Wellness in Bethesda, Md. “I imagine we all have a pretty typical desire.” He included: “They want to stop the violence.”

The U.S. and the Taliban signed a historic offer in Doha more than the weekend immediately after more than eighteen yrs of war, agreeing to the withdrawal of all U.S. troops in 14 months in trade for Taliban assurances on counterterrorism. The offer also stipulates that the Taliban should get started talks with Afghan teams and a stop hearth should be on the agenda.

A Taliban readout of the contact explained the two spoke for 35 minutes and discussed the implementation of the offer, including attempts to launch talks between Afghans. Mullah Baradar is the Taliban’s political chief, centered in Doha, Qatar.

“You are a rough people and have a fantastic state and I realize that you are combating for your homeland,” Mr. Trump informed the Taliban’s political chief, according to the readout. “We have been there for 19 yrs and that is a pretty extended time.”

The Afghan peace course of action faces several hurdles, including the resumption of Taliban assaults from Afghan forces this 7 days, opposite to U.S. hopes that a 7-working day reduction in violence that held last 7 days would continue immediately after the offer was signed. The Afghan interior ministry explained Tuesday it recorded 33 assaults in sixteen provinces in the previous 24 hours.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, informed The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that the 7 days of reduction in violence had finished. “Our assaults from Kabul administration will continue as ahead of right up until we will appear to a conclusion in intra-Afghan talks,” he explained.

“There is no assault on foreign forces in accordance to the settlement,” Mr. Mujahid included.

There are hurdles to launching talks concerning the Taliban and Afghan teams. The course of action aims to permit Afghans to decide on important concerns between them selves, including whether Afghanistan must continue being a democracy and the legal rights of girls.

Less than the conditions of the offer, intra-Afghan talks involving the Taliban and a assortment of Afghan teams, including the authorities, opposition and other political players, are to get started future 7 days.

The tentative get started date established for March ten is broadly anticipated to slide, as the Afghan facet has still to assemble an inclusive negotiating crew that involves the opposition and other energy brokers.

The Taliban, for its element, is delaying the course of action by refusing to interact with the Afghan authorities unless of course countless numbers of prisoners are unveiled as element of a swap to construct self-assurance ahead of the official talks get started.

In a more complication, a political disaster in Kabul remains unresolved as both equally Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah are boasting to have gained the fraud-marred presidential election held last September and approach to type rival administrations.

The Taliban readout of the contact explained Mr. Trump informed Mullah Baradar that U.S. Secretary of Condition Mike Pompeo would contact the Afghan president to remove hurdles to commencing talks concerning the Taliban and Afghan parties.

The prime U.S. envoy for Afghan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, was anticipated in Kabul this 7 days to assistance resolve the conflict concerning the numerous Afghan parties and thrust for the development of an inclusive negotiating crew.

Publish to Jessica Donati at [email protected] and Rebecca Ballhaus at [email protected]

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