Pentagon ‘wanted to pay for Taliban travel expenses’ – News

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Members of the Taliban

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AFP/Getty Photographs

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The Taliban now management extra territory in Afghanistan than at any level since 2001

The Trump administration needed to reimburse the Taliban for his or her bills attending current peace talks, in keeping with a congressional aide.

The Pentagon’s request earlier this 12 months was to cowl prices like meals and lodging, a Democratic congressman’s spokesman instructed the BBC.

However the request was denied as a result of it will have amounted to unlawful materials assist for terrorists, stated the aide.

The Pentagon didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Since October 2018, the US authorities has held six rounds of peace negotiations with the Taliban in Qatar’s capital, Doha, aimed toward paving the best way for a secure US exit from Afghanistan.

The funding requested by the Pentagon was supposed to reimburse the group for prices incurred whereas taking part within the talks, together with provides, meals, lodging and transportation, in keeping with Kevin Spicer, spokesman for Consultant Peter Visclosky of Indiana.

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Media captionIs peace with the Taliban potential?

“The Protection Division requested fiscal 12 months 2020 funding to assist sure reconciliation actions, together with logistic assist for members of the Taliban and, in March 2019, they despatched a notification letter to the Committee on utilizing fiscal 12 months 2019 funds for comparable actions,” Mr Spicer stated.

On Wednesday, the Home Appropriations defence subcommittee, chaired by Mr Visclosky, authorised a $690.2bn (£617.4bn) spending invoice that particularly prohibits reimbursing bills for the militants.

Not one of the funds made obtainable by the invoice could also be used “to pay for the bills of any member of the Taliban to take part in any assembly that doesn’t embrace the participation of members of the Authorities of Afghanistan or that restricts the participation of ladies”, the laws stated.

Mr Visclosky included the availability as a result of the request for funding would violate legal guidelines regarding materials assist for terrorist teams, stated Mr Spicer.

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Reuters

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Mr Khalilzad, the US Particular Consultant for Afghanistan Reconciliation (again left) briefed Afghan President Ghani (centre) in January in regards to the talks.

He cited “the Taliban’s ongoing offensive operations in opposition to US service members, and their persevering with lack of acknowledgement of the federal government of Afghanistan or the rights of ladies in Afghan society”.

An impartial authorities spending watchdog instructed Rollcall, which first reported the Pentagon request, that it was harking back to a headline from a satirical information web site.

Steve Ellis, of Taxpayers for Frequent Sense, stated it was like “life imitating The Onion”.

The peace negotiations come because the US authorities considers a potential exit plan from the longest warfare in its historical past.

The talks have centered on a secure withdrawal of US troops from the nation in return for the insurgents guaranteeing that Afghan territory wouldn’t be utilized by overseas militants, or pose a safety risk to the remainder of the world.

The Taliban – which as soon as harboured Osama Bin Laden – has stated they won’t comply with a ceasefire till overseas forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan and have rejected the Afghan authorities as “a US-imposed puppet regime”.

Extra civilians had been killed final 12 months in Afghanistan than at any time since data have been stored, with 3,804 civilians shedding their lives.

Greater than 2,400 American troops have misplaced their lives and proceed to die within the battle.

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