United States does not want a “hasty withdrawal” from Afghanistan: senator

File Reuters

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — US Senator Jeanne Shaheen confirmed on Monday that the United States does not want a “hasty” withdrawal from Afghanistan amid efforts to end the conflict in the country.

The Democratic senator, a member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, stressed the need for women to participate in the country’s negotiations with the Taliban.

US President Donald Trump told his advisers last year that he wanted to reduce the size of the 14,000-strong US force deployed in Afghanistan, prompting criticism that he was pushing for a hasty withdrawal.

“What we have heard here is that any agreement to end the conflict … must provide for a transitional period involving all parties and not a hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Shaheen told reporters at the US embassy.

She added that members of Congress agree with this view, explaining that “this is also the position of the administration,” the United States.

“There is a situation that may not always be reflected in White House tweets,” she said, referring to Trump’s tendency to launch unexpected foreign policy messages.

Shahin is the only woman on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

She stressed the importance of women’s participation in ongoing talks with the Taliban, which rejects the Western concept of women’s rights and executed a number of them for adultery.

“The participation of women raises by 35 percent the chances (of success) of negotiations … and prolonging them,” Shaheen said.

“Regardless of the outcome of the peace negotiations, it is important to support women’s participation,” the senator said.

A new round of talks is expected in April between a delegation of Afghan political leaders, including government officials, and the Taliban in the Qatari capital of Doha.

The Taliban have long refused to hold official talks with Kabul, calling their government a “puppet” in the hands of the West, and stressed that government officials would participate in the talks “in a personal capacity.”

The names of the figures to be included in the talks were not announced, but reports said a preliminary list of two women.

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