• publish: 25 July 2020
  • time: 5:25 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 14492

US sees significant drop in deaths among Afghan forces, civilians

Afghan security forces and civilians have suffered significantly lower number of deaths so far this year, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Friday.

Fatalities among Afghan security forces declined by 35 percent to 40 percent so far this year compared with the same period in 2019, Khalilzad said speaking at an online forum organized by the United States Institute of peace.

He also said that the number of civilians killed is also significantly lower for the same period compared to last year.

Khalilzad, however, said that the level of violence was “too high” and that the US was not satisfied with it.

“I am hoping that as we move closer to intra-Afghan negotiations, which I hope will happen in the coming weeks, that violence will be less than it is now,” Khalilzad stressed.

He said that the Afghan government has released 4,400 Taliban prisoners while the group has released 861 government prisoners so far.

“Most of the distance has been traveled in this difficult road but the last mile remains very challenging,” Khalilzad said, adding US was committed to working with both sides to help complete the prisoner release so that intra-Afghan negotiations could begin.

He said that what happens in Afghanistan will have a significant impact for the region and vice versa.

“This is a moment for peace to be pursued in Afghanistan and for development stability and trade and integration that that peace can facilitate,” Khalilzad said.

According to the envoy, Iran has not been as supportive as it should be in the effort to get to intra-Afghan negotiations.

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