Afghan Security officials and Resolute Support Commander General Scott Miller this week visited Balkh province to review the security situation of northern Afghanistan.
“This an important trip…we did talk about the violence. We are trying to understand, make sure we understand the violence, and really this is about the Afghan security forces protecting the Afghan people,” Miller noted.
He said, “We all acknowledge the violence is too high and the Taliban must lower their violence.”
Despite the international calls for a ceasefire, the Taliban have increased attacks against the Afghan forces across the country since the start of the intra-Afghan talks.
The talks, aimed to find a political settlement for ending the long-term war in the country, have been stalled as reports indicate that there are two disputed points between the teams.
According to the reports, there was a dispute over the religious jurisprudence and recognition of the US-Taliban agreement signed in February, which is what led to the current talks and on which the negotiations are based – an agreement that the Afghan government was not a party to.
This comes as this week, the European Parliament condemned the high levels of violence in Afghanistan over the past few weeks and called on all stakeholders to call an immediate ceasefire.
In a statement issued by the parliament, members said: “We welcome the launch of the direct peace negotiations between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban. A comprehensive peace process is a precondition to ending four decades of death and destruction and to bringing stability, security, and peace to Afghanistan.
“We, therefore, condemn the eruption of violence during the last weeks and call upon all stakeholders in Afghanistan to put in place an immediate and permanent ceasefire. The responsible for the recent terrorist attacks and the continuous violence need to be held accountable,” their statement read.