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Pentagon 'wanted to pay for Taliban travel expenses'

Members of the TalibanSymbol copyright
AFP/Getty Photographs

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The Taliban now keep an eye on extra territory in Afghanistan than at any level since 2001

The Trump management sought after to reimburse the Taliban for his or her bills attending fresh peace talks, in line with a congressional aide.

The Pentagon’s request previous this 12 months used to be to hide prices like meals and accommodation, a Democratic congressman’s spokesman informed the BBC.

However the request used to be denied as a result of it could have amounted to unlawful subject material reinforce for terrorists, mentioned the aide.

The Pentagon didn’t straight away reply to a request for remark.

Since October 2018, the United States executive has held six rounds of peace negotiations with the Taliban in Qatar’s capital, Doha, geared toward paving the way in which for a secure US go out from Afghanistan.

The investment asked via the Pentagon used to be supposed to reimburse the gang for prices incurred whilst taking part within the talks, together with provides, meals, lodging and transportation, in line with Kevin Spicer, spokesman for Consultant Peter Visclosky of Indiana.

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Media captionIs peace with the Taliban imaginable?

“The Protection Division asked fiscal 12 months 2020 investment to reinforce positive reconciliation actions, together with logistic reinforce for contributors of the Taliban and, in March 2019, they despatched a notification letter to the Committee on the usage of fiscal 12 months 2019 finances for equivalent actions,” Mr Spicer mentioned.

On Wednesday, the Space Appropriations defence subcommittee, chaired via Mr Visclosky, authorized a $690.2bn (£617.4bn) spending invoice that particularly prohibits reimbursing bills for the militants.

Not one of the finances made to be had via the invoice could also be used “to pay for the bills of any member of the Taliban to take part in any assembly that doesn’t come with the participation of contributors of the Govt of Afghanistan or that restricts the participation of girls”, the law mentioned.

Mr Visclosky integrated the supply for the reason that request for investment would violate regulations relating to subject material reinforce for terrorist teams, mentioned Mr Spicer.

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Mr Khalilzad, the United States Particular Consultant for Afghanistan Reconciliation (again left) briefed Afghan President Ghani (centre) in January in regards to the talks.

He cited “the Taliban’s ongoing offensive operations in opposition to US provider contributors, and their proceeding loss of acknowledgement of the federal government of Afghanistan or the rights of girls in Afghan society”.

An impartial executive spending watchdog informed Rollcall, which first reported the Pentagon request, that it used to be harking back to a headline from a satirical information web site.

Steve Ellis, of Taxpayers for Commonplace Sense, mentioned it used to be like “existence imitating The Onion”.

The peace negotiations come as the United States executive considers a imaginable go out plan from the longest conflict in its historical past.

The talks have eager about a secure withdrawal of US troops from the rustic in go back for the insurgents ensuring that Afghan territory would no longer be utilized by international militants, or pose a safety danger to the remainder of the sector.

The Taliban – which as soon as harboured Osama Bin Encumbered – has mentioned they’ll no longer conform to a ceasefire till international forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan and feature rejected the Afghan executive as “a US-imposed puppet regime”.

Extra civilians had been killed final 12 months in Afghanistan than at any time since data had been stored, with three,804 civilians shedding their lives.

Greater than 2,400 American troops have misplaced their lives and proceed to die within the battle.

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