US secretary of state Mike Pompeo arrived in Qatar on Saturday and met negotiators from the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha.
“I would be most interested in getting your thoughts on how we can increase the probability of a successful outcome”, Pompeo said as he met Afghan government officials.
Pompeo’s meeting comes as the outgoing Trump administration seeks to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. Pentagon had said earlier that it would soon pull out nearly 2,000 troops from Afghanistan.
US, Taliban and Afghanistan government officials have been in talks in Doha since September, however, there have been repeated breakdowns with the Taliban’s differences with the Afghan government.
The Doha talks had opened after the Taliban and the US government signed a deal in February with the Trump administration agreeing to withdraw foreign forces from Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees. However, attacks by the Taliban have been widespread amid the talks.
The Afghan government has said that the Taliban has killed over 1,200 civilians in suicide attacks this week and has caused 1,250 explosions over the past six months.
The top Trump administration diplomat also met Qatar’s ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and foreign minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
Pompeo held talks on defence and counterterrorism issues with Qatar officials.
Pompeo is on a seven-nation tour of Europe and the Middle East.
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