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Taliban vows future Afghanistan won't be terrorists' hotbed

By The News · 29 of July 2019 21:38:33
AP Photo, Zalmay Khalilzad, No available, FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2019, file photo, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington. America began bombing Afghanistan after 9/11 to root out al-Qaida fighters, who were being harbored by the Taliban. Nearly 19 years later, Khalilzad says he’s satisfied with the militant group’s pledge to keep terror groups from using Afghanistan as a launch pad for attacks against the West. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s longest war has come full circle.

The United States began bombing Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks to root out al-Qaida fighters harbored by the Taliban. More than 18 years later, preventing Afghanistan from being a launching pad for more attacks on America is at the heart of ongoing U.S. talks with the Taliban.

President Donald Trump’s envoy at the negotiating table says he’s satisfied with the Taliban’s commitment to prevent international terrorist organizations from using Afghanistan as a base to plot global attacks.

There’s even talk that a settlement might result in the Taliban joining the U.S. to fight Islamic State militants, whose footprint is growing in northern Afghanistan.

Not everyone’s convinced.

Some Afghans worry Trump’s desire to pull out troops will override doubts about the Taliban’s sincerity.