US Envoy: Taliban Withholding Ceasefire Pending Political Settlement

Khalilzad suggests reduction of violence be proposed instead

US envoy and negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad says that the Taliban is not prepared to accept any ceasefires for Afghanistan right now, because they want a political settlement first. Khalilzad suggested that proposing a mutual reduction in violence would be more realistic in the near-term.

Khalilzad said the current approach of settlement then ceasefire is “not unprecedented in similar conflicts” and that the US was willing to work with both sides on agreeing to a reduction in violence.

Mutual reductions in violence have been supported by multiple sides before, but usually give way to attacks and retaliation, ending with violence actually slightly increasing. All told, violence is still down from levels before the US-Taliban deal, but still higher than anyone wants.

A full political settlement is likely to take some time, and getting into a more comfortable status quo would be very big for the process.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.