US Senators seek Congressional oversight of Afghanistan peace process

Washington D.C. [USA], Nov 22 (ANI): Two US Senators on Thursday (local time) introduced a bipartisan bill that would establish congressional oversight on any peace deal process to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan.

Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.) and his colleague Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), introduced the "Ensuring a Durable Afghanistan Peace Act," which would require congressional oversight "for U.S. diplomatic efforts to achieve a political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and any agreement that emerges from that process," according to a statement from the two, The Hill reported.

"Unfortunately, like other war powers discussions, Congress has taken a backseat in the debate over the future of our mission in Afghanistan while the conflict has descended towards a stalemate," Young said in the statement.

"As we pursue negotiations with the Taliban and work to end our involvement, Congress must be a part of the process to ensure that our mission is brought to a responsible end," he added.

The legislation comes after President Trump in September declared peace talks with the Taliban "dead."

But earlier this week the Taliban freed an American and Australian in exchange for three of its members. Administration officials hope this could place the talks over peace in the war-ravaged country back on table.

An issue that still needs to be resolved, however, was the Afghan government's limited involvement in U.S. negotiations with the Taliban.

Menendez and Young's bill, if enacted, would stipulate that "any action to curtail or remove U.S. military forces from Afghanistan include regular consultation with Congress," and require that the administration allow lawmakers to review a final agreement with the Taliban, including "a description of counterterrorism assurances, U.S. troop withdrawal, the status of direct Afghan negotiations and progress towards reaching a comprehensive ceasefire."

The Afghan Presidential Palace, earlier today in a statement, said that Trump has invited his Afghan counterpart Mohammed Ashraf Ghani to visit the US which was accepted by the latter. (ANI)