Germany backs renewed US-Taliban talks on Afghan peace


Germany supports talks between the U.S. and the Taliban aimed at reviving the stalled peace process in Afghanistan, a German official said on Friday.

“Basically, our position is that we welcome these [the U.S.-Taliban] talks and we hope that — we as the international community — can make a contribution to get the peace process in Afghanistan underway. We have repeatedly emphasized that this is our goal,” Rainer Breul, a deputy spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, told a regular government press briefing in Berlin.

His remarks came after U.S. President Donald Trump announced Thursday the resumption of peace talks with the Taliban after making a surprise trip to Afghanistan to celebrate Thanksgiving with American troops.

American and Taliban negotiators have reportedly met for several rounds of peace talks since last year, while the progress has been unable to finalize a peace agreement.

Meanwhile, Breul stressed that the main focus should also be on “reducing the violence” in Afghanistan.

The German official also confirmed recent talks between Germany’s special envoy to Afghanistan Markus Potzel and Taliban representatives in Qatar’s capital Doha.

Breul did not provide details of the talks, citing “confidentiality”.

“I can confirm that our representative has met with the Taliban in Doha. I cannot comment on the content of the confidential talks,” he added.

Germany has been at the forefront of Western diplomatic efforts to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan.
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