US service members killed in Afghanistan

Clay Curtis
June 26, 2019

The Taliban have refused to hold direct talks with the Afghan government, calling it a USA puppet, but have said they would talk to government officials if they attend the meeting in a personal capacity.

Pompeo said the U.S. is almost ready to conclude a "draft text" outlining Taliban promises never to allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for global terrorism again. The next round of peace talks is scheduled to begin on June 29 in Doha. "That's certainly our mission set", Pompeo said. The U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formally concluded their combat mission in 2014, but American and allied troops remain, conducting strikes on the Islamic State group and the Taliban and working to train and build the Afghan military.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that Washington is hopeful a peace agreement to bring an end to the 17-year war in Afghanistan can be reached before September 1. Pompeo said the United States and the Taliban were close to a deal on countering terrorism. The remainder are part of a bilateral counterterrorism operation against al-Qaida and Islamic State fighters.

The United States began a fresh push last September to bring the militant group to the negotiating table to end the almost 18-year Afghan conflict - the longest war in USA history.

"We've made real progress and are almost ready to conclude a draft text outlining the Taliban commitments to join fellow Afghans in ensuring that Afghan soil never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists", Pompeo said.

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The circumstances leading to the decision by PACE to limit Russia's voting rights after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 have not changed, he said.

At least 3,804 civilians were killed in the war past year, according to the United Nations.

More than 2,400 US military personnel have been killed and more than 20,000 have been wounded since the beginning of the Afghan War in October 2001. Under recent plans drawn up by the Trump administration, all American troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan over the next three to five years, in exchange for a deal that allows the current government in Kabul to share power with the Taliban.

The Taliban still controls a significant amount of territory in Afghanistan.

Last September the USA began a fresh push to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table to end America's longest war.

Pompeo told reporters that the United States government was prepared to remove American troops from the country.

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