Afghan government raises new concerns about US-Taliban deal

Afghan government raises new concerns about US-Taliban deal

FILE – In this Feb. 8, 2019 file photo, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad smiles at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington. Khalilzad and the Taliban have resumed negotiations on ending America’s longest war. A Taliban member said Khalilzad also had a one-on-one meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, with the Taliban’s lead negotiator, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in Qatar, where the insurgent group has a political office. (Jacquelyn Martin, File/Associated Press)

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s government is expressing new concerns about a deal that a U.S. envoy says has been reached “in principle” with the Taliban on ending America’s longest war.

A statement shared by presidential spokesman Sediq Seddiqi on Wednesday asks for clarifications about the agreement and its risks to avoid “unpleasant consequences.”

The statement says the Afghan government shares the concerns raised by several former U.S. ambassadors to Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, their joint statement warned that a full U.S. troop withdrawal that moves too quickly and without requiring the Taliban to meet conditions, such as reducing violence, could lead to “total civil war.”

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad showed the draft of the deal to the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, earlier this week, saying it only needs President Donald Trump’s approval.

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