Trump trys to take advantage of Afghan peace talks to win presidential election
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to take advantage of Afghan peace talks to win the forthcoming presidential election and to make up for its political failures across the world.
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Rouhani made the remarks in a Monday meeting with the visiting head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), Abdullah Abdullah, in Tehran.
"The US administration, which has failed in its policies in the region and across the world and has achieved no success, [now] seeks to take advantage of the peace talks in Afghanistan for election purposes," he said, adding that interference and presence of the United States, as an aggressive country, in Afghanistan have not been in line with the Afghan people's demands.
Long-delayed direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban militant group began in the Qatari capital city of Doha on September 12 to end decades of conflict that have killed tens of thousands of people.
The intra-Afghan talks were set to take place in March, but have repeatedly been delayed over a prisoner exchange agreement made as part of the United States-Taliban deal signed in February.
Under the deal with the US, the Taliban agreed to stop their attacks on foreign forces in return for the US military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and prisoner swap with the government.
The Afghan government was a party neither to the negotiations nor to the deal, but it has been acting in accordance with its terms, including by agreeing to free the Taliban prisoners.
President Trump made the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan a promise before the 2016 presidential election. In the countdown to the November presidential election, Washington has ramped up pressure to start intra-Afghan negotiations.