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Blinken expresses concern over escalation of violence by Taliban

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday night over the telephone and expressed his concern over the escalation of violence by the Taliban, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.
Both sides discussed the relations between the two countries and the continuation of US cooperation with Afghanistan in various fields, the statement added.
Expressing concern over the escalation of violence by the Taliban, Blinken reaffirmed his country’s continued support for Afghanistan’s security and defense forces, and stressed the role of the United States in accelerating the Afghan peace process, the statement added.
Both sides also spoke about regional issues and the role of regional countries in the Afghan peace process.
This comes after violence by the Taliban continues to rage in parts of the country especially in Herat, Helmand and Kandahar provinces. The United States said on Tuesday that one of many concerns about Afghanistan is that it could spiral into civil war, Reuters reported.
Peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban negotiators started last year in the Qatari capital of Doha, but have not made any substantive progress. U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the Taliban saw “the utility of a negotiated solution, they are engaged in Doha.”

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