30 Jan 2018 14:27

Trump's stance on Taliban postponing peaceful settlement in Afghanistan - Russian presidential envoy

MOSCOW. Jan 30 (Interfax) - United States President Donald Trump's refusal to establish a dialogue with the Taliban is postponing a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan, the Russian President's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Director of the Foreign Ministry's Second Asian Department, Zamir Kabulov, said on Tuesday.

"It seems some time will pass before the sides realize that their so-called 'firmness' and inclination to fight are being paid for with the blood of innocent Afghans and that they will have to sit down for negotiations or reach an agreement some other way sooner or later in order to solve this problem with political tools," Kabulov told Interfax.

As to whether Trump's stance will delay the establishment of an intra-Afghan dialogue and a political settlement process, Kabulov said, "Of course it will."

The diplomat commented on Trump's remark that he is not ready to negotiate with the Taliban. "Clearly, this is an emotional reaction to the series of high-profile terror attacks in Kabul, which took many innocent lives," he said.

"This is a loud declaration, but now what? The Americans will keep dropping bombs, and the Taliban will keep causing explosions," Kabulov said.