Earlier this year, the Pentagon reportedly asked Congress for funds to reimburse the Taliban for transportation and other expenses, they incurred on attending peace negotiations.
Pentagon is seeking to lay the groundwork in anticipation of opportunities to facilitate talks with the Afghan government to find a way to end the 17-year-old war.
A bill passed for the fiscal year 2020 on Wednesday, by the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense prohibits the reimbursement of said expenses. It says, “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay the expenses of any member of the Taliban to participate in any meeting that does not include the participation of members of the Government of Afghanistan or that restricts the participation of women”.
So far, no input has been taken from Afghan Government Officials on the subject matter, and they have shown disappointment on not being included in the peace talks. Afghan ambassador to US Roya Rahmani added, “If peace is to be negotiated and to be durable, it cannot keep on going on without the presence of Afghan people”.
There is slight progress on a draft agreement for the evacuation of foreign troops from Afghanistan, after the sixth round of negotiations.
In 2018, there was an unprecedented 3 days ceasefire on Eid-ul-Fitr, by the Afghan government, which raised hopes for dialogues.
The Taliban ruled over most of Afghanistan from the mid-1990s until the U.S. invasion in 2001. The Trump administration has been pressing negotiations with the group as seeks to end the war.