Talks will officially start on Saturday in Doha, Qatar.
In a statement issued overnight Friday, Pompeo said: “The start of these talks marks a historic opportunity for Afghanistan to bring an end to four decades of war and bloodshed. The people of Afghanistan have carried the burden of war for too long. They yearn for peace,” he said.
“Only through an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led political process — one that respects the views of all Afghan communities, including women and ethnic and religious minorities — can the parties achieve a durable peace.”
Pompeo stated that “this opportunity must not be squandered. Immense sacrifice and investment by the United States, our partners, and the people of Afghanistan have made this moment of hope possible.”
He also called on the negotiators on both sides to demonstrate the pragmatism, restraint, and flexibility the process will require to succeed.
“The people of Afghanistan and the international community will be watching closely. The United States is prepared to support as requested,” he said.
In conclusion, he said: “The United States recalls the commitment by the Afghan government and the Taliban that terrorists can never again use Afghan soil to threaten the United States or its allies. Now is the time for peace for Afghanistan”
Pompeo’s office said in an earlier statement that he would leave for Doha on Friday so as to attend the opening ceremony of the talks on Saturday.