Amid growing speculation about possible peace talks, General John Nicholson’s comments on Monday follow increased diplomatic efforts to seek negotiations following unprecedented scenes of unarmed Taliban fighters mingling with Afghan security forces on the streets of Kabul and other cities during last month’s surprise ceasefire.
Nicholson, who leads the NATO-led Resolute Support mission, said the US recognised it had a key role to play.
“Our secretary of state, Mr [Mike] Pompeo, has said that we, the United States, are ready to talk to the Taliban and discuss the role of international forces,” he said.
“We hope that they realise this and that this will help to move the peace process forward.”
Sohail Shahin, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, said he was still waiting for confirmation of Nicholson’s comments but welcomed signs of the new approach.
Al Jazeera News.