U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on the government of Afghanistan and leaders of Taliban insurgents to seize the opportunity to strike a comprehensive peace deal.
One day after the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, Pompeo has been overseeing the start of ceasefire talks and spoke at the opening ceremony in the Qatari capital Doha.
"We believe firmly that protecting the rights of all Afghans is indeed the best way for you to break the cycle of violence. Of course I can only urge these actions, you will write the next chapter in Afghan history. We hope this chapter is one of reconciliation and progress, not another chronicle of tears and bloodshed. We urge you to make decisions that move away from the violence and the corruption and towards peace and development and prosperity."
Ahead of face-to-face negotiations in coming days, the warring sides have been urged by various countries and groups to reach an immediate ceasefire and also forge an agreement that upholds women's rights.
The head of Afghanistan's peace council, Abdullah Abdullah, said that even if the two sides could not agree on all points, they should compromise.
As part of President Donald Trump’s reelection plans, the U.S. has expressed its intention to use aid as leverage to get to a deal.