UPDATED 10:30 AM PST – Sat. September 7, 2019
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the U.S. will not accept just any deal with the Taliban.
In a press conference Saturday, Esper said officials are working “diligently” regarding ongoing U.S. Taliban peace talks.
He also said, the Trump administration aims to ensure Afghanistan is “no longer a safe haven for terrorists who have the ability to act against the United States.”
Esper added, Washington will not accept anything less than a “good deal” which guarantees the security of both countries and brings a brighter path for the Afghan people.
“The question is what is the way forward and how do we achieve that in a different way while maintaining that protection to our countries,” said Esper. “And so my view, the United States’ view is that the best way forward is a political agreement, and that is what we’re working on diligently right now. And that means, that doesn’t mean we’ll take any deal, but we want to make sure we have a good deal.”
Esper’s comments come as a wave of violence led by the Taliban has shaken peace talks in recent weeks.