Pentagon chief in Afghanistan as U.S. looks to kickstart Taliban talks

FAN Editor
U.S. Defense Secretary Esper addresses reporters at the Pentagon in Arlington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

October 20, 2019

KABUL (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday, as the United States seeks to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States’ longest war.

“The aim is to still get a peace agreement at some point, a political agreement, that is the best way forward,” Esper told reporters traveling with him to Afghanistan.

“I hope we can move forward and come up with a political agreement that meets our ends and meets the goals we want to achieve,” Esper said, adding that diplomatic talks were in the State Department’s domain

(Reporting by Idrees Ali in Kabul. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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