Munich - Speaking to reporters on his way to Munich Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave an update on current peace talks with the Taliban ahead of his visit to the Munich Security Conference. There, he will meet with a number of involved parties to further discuss the issue, including Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
“We have made real progress over the last handful of days and the President gave us the authority to continue to have the conversations. We hope we can get to a place where we can get a significant reduction in violence not only on a piece of paper but demonstrated, the capability to actually deliver a serious reduction in violence in Afghanistan and if we can get there, if we can hold that posture for awhile, then we’ll be able to begin the real, serious discussion which is all the Afghans sitting at a table, finding a true, reconciliation path forward,” Pompeo said. “It will be a difficult set of conversations, one that’s long overdue. It would also give us the opportunity to reduce the footprint not only for America’s forces there but for all forces, the resolute supporters more broadly."
Peace talks with the Taliban abruptly ended late last September when an attack killed one American soldier and wounded 11 others. Talks resumed in December at the direction of President Trump.
“It’s complicated, we’re not there yet but I have been working on it,” he continued. “We are glad to engage in those conversations and we have something we can consider a pretty important break through in the last few days.”
After Munich, Pompeo will travel through Africa and the Middle East. Women’s rights issues, promotion of American business, ending corruption and the maximum pressure campaign on Iran will be a priority and focus.