US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday that the Taliban were not living up to their commitments under an agreement signed this year, amid signs the fragile deal is under strain by a political deadlock and increasing Taliban violence.
After lengthy talks behind closed doors, the Taliban and Washington signed an agreement in February for reduced violence and a move towards talks with the Afghan government, but attacks by the group have increased since then.
“I don’t think they are,” Esper told reporters when asked if the Taliban were living up to their commitment.
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He added that he believed the Afghan government was also not living up to its commitment. The Afghan government was not part of an agreement between the United States and the Taliban.
Esper said the Afghan government and the Taliban “both need to come together and make progress on the terms that (are) laid out.”