As Afghanistan peace talks stutter, US says violence levels too high

Reuters , Tuesday 22 Sep 2020

The level of violence in Afghanistan is unacceptably high and the United States expects further setbacks during talks, the Special Representative for Afghanistan said on Tuesday, as the Afghan government and Taliban remain far apart on even the most basic issues 10 days into talks meant to end two decades of war.

"By any measure, current levels of violence are too high," U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad told a House of Representatives hearing.

During the same hearing, David Helvey, who is performing the duties of assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, said the Pentagon was carrying out "prudent planning" to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 2021 if conditions were met. 

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