World

UPDATE 1-US says all choices on desk for Afghanistan, resolution unclear on posture of forces after Could 1

(Add extra from letter, recast title)

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. authorities stated on Sunday that every one choices remained on the desk for its remaining 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, saying it had made no resolution concerning its army engagement after Could 1.

The State Division’s feedback got here after reviews launched that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had given pressing new impetus for a United Nations-led peace effort that included a warning that the US army deliberate to go away Afghanistan by Could 1.

Blinken, in a letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani revealed by TOLOnews, an Afghan media outlet, and confirmed in a report revealed by the New York Occasions, stated that the USA “is contemplating the entire withdrawal of forces by Could 1 as we think about different choices. “

A State Division spokeswoman declined to verify the letter’s veracity, however stated on Sunday that the USA had “made no resolution about our place of power in Afghanistan after Could 1. All choices stay on the desk “.

In accordance with the letter, the USA is constant high-level diplomatic efforts “to maneuver issues ahead extra essentially and extra shortly in the direction of a settlement and a everlasting and complete ceasefire.”

The letter stated the USA would ask the United Nations to convene overseas ministers and envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the USA “to debate an method united to assist peace in Afghanistan “.

He added that the USA will ask Turkey to host a high-level assembly of the “two sides within the coming weeks to finalize a peace deal.”

Blinken’s letter stated the 90-day violence discount proposal is “supposed to stop a spring Taliban offensive.”

Blinken stated that within the occasion of a US army withdrawal, he feared that “the safety state of affairs may worsen and the Taliban may obtain fast territorial beneficial properties”, including that he hoped Ghani “would perceive the urgency of my tone. “.

Ghani stated on Saturday, in a bid to advance peace talks with the Taliban, that his authorities was prepared to debate holding new elections, insisting that any new authorities ought to emerge by the democratic course of.

Ghani met with US Particular Envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in Kabul final week to debate methods to offer momentum to the stalled peace talks with Taliban representatives happening in Qatar. The State Division stated Sunday that “Khalilzad’s journey represents a continuation of US diplomacy within the area.”

Violence and focused killings have elevated for the reason that Afghan authorities started US-backed negotiations with the Taliban final September, and Western safety officers say insurgents, who already maintain massive swathes of areas rural areas, started to realize floor round cities. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Modifying by Lisa Shumaker and Diane Craft)

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