US and Taliban agree to ‘re-set’ amid spike in violence

The United States and the Taliban have agreed to a “re-set” following a sharp rise in violence in the past week in Afghanistan – specifically in Helmand province.

In a series of tweets on Thursday night, US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad stated: “Following several meetings (Resolute Support Commander) General Miller and I had with the Taliban, we agreed to re-set actions by strictly adhering to implementation of all elements of the US-Taliban Agreement and all commitments made.”

“This means reduced numbers of operations. At present too many Afghans are dying. With the re-set, we expect that number to drop significantly.”

He said: “Attacks have been on the rise in recent weeks – threatening the peace process and alarming the Afghan people and their regional and international supporters.

“We will do our part and will monitor implementation actively. All parties must deliver on their responsibilities. We thank our international partners for their assistance and support.”

This latest move comes after days of heavy clashes between the Afghan National Security Forces and the Taliban in southern Helmand province.

Late Monday, the US forces in Afghanistan confirmed they had carried out targeted strikes in Helmand in order to assist the troops.

The Taliban launched coordinated attacks in various parts of the province on Saturday night and ongoing clashes have forced thousands of people to flee their homes.