WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), top Democrat of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, on Tuesday made the following statement after receiving a classified briefing from the Trump administration on the Afghanistan negotiations:
“I have generally been supportive of trying to negotiate an agreement with the Taliban in which they renounce terrorism and integrate into a democratically elected Afghan government in exchange for a phased U.S. troop withdrawal. But the administration's approach to negotiations has been shrouded in secrecy, leading to surprises on some major issues like the apparent promise to release thousands of Taliban fighters as part of the deal. After receiving a classified briefing on additional elements of the deal last night, it's clear that the security guarantees made by the Taliban are so vague and fuzzy as to be practically void on their face. There are far more questions than answers regarding how this deal will actually work in practice, and it's more clear to me now than ever before that we need to have a public conversation, including open testimony by Ambassador Khalilzad before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” said Murphy.
On Sunday, Murphy joined CBS’s Face the Nation to discuss the administration’s deal with the Taliban to bring peace to Afghanistan. Murphy also released a statement when the negotiations were first announced last month. In February, Murphy sent a letter to the GAO to assess whether documents given to Congress from the executive branch have been classified for political purposes.