Washington, DC— Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16), Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on security transition in Afghanistan and the Taliban commitment to peace talks.

“I’m very pleased that the Afghan National Security Forces have now assumed security responsibility for their entire country, and that the American and NATO combat missions in Afghanistan are coming to a close.

I also welcome, though with very cautious optimism, the Taliban statement supporting an Afghan peace process and opposing the use of Afghan soil to threaten other countries. If the Taliban’s actions meet their commitments, there might be a real opening for Afghanistan to achieve a political solution and end the country’s almost 30 year armed conflict.

By capitalizing on these two developments, the people of Afghanistan can take an important step toward a new beginning for their country, while the United States and our allies can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel of this long war.”