Pompeo hails breakthrough in US-Taliban talks

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there has been a "pretty important breakthrough" in peace talks with the Taliban in recent days.

Feb 14, 2020
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there has been a "pretty important breakthrough" in peace talks with the Taliban in recent days.

Defence Secretary Mark Esper earlier said they had "negotiated a proposal" for a week-long reduction in violence. The two sides have long been engaged in negotiations aimed at ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan.

But they have been fraught with challenges. President Donald Trump declared the talks "dead" in September.

On Thursday, Pompeo said the US president had given the go-ahead for further talks. He hailed recent progress, but said the negotiations were complicated and that a peace deal had not yet been reached, the BBC reported.

"We hope we can get to the place where we can get a significant reduction in violence, not only on a piece of paper," he said. "If we can get there and we can hold that posture for a while, we may well be able to begin the serious discussion which is all the Afghans sitting at a table finding a true reconciliation."

Pompeo's comments came after Esper told reporters about the proposal for a "seven-day reduction in violence".