AVA- The crown prince proposed killing Taliban leaders during a meeting with the Mike Pompeo’s visit to the UAE on January 12 amid disagreements over the progress of peace talks between US and Taliban negotiators, media reported on Thursday, citing to a source with detailed knowledge of the meeting.
A source with detailed knowledge of the meeting has told the source that Pompeo was visibly taken aback by the offer, but said nothing.
Mohammed bin Zayed told Pompeo that Washington risked allowing Afghanistan to fall back into the hands of the "backward, bearded bad guys" and proposed hiring mercenaries to kill Taliban leaders to weaken the group's negotiating position, according to the source.
But bin Zayed suggested instead organizing what he called a "Blackwater-style" operation to "wage an assassination campaign against the first-line leadership of the Taliban" in order to prevent it from achieving its chief political demands, the source reportedly said.
Mohammad bin Zayed warned Pompeo that withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan risked a regression back to 2001, prior to the US-led invasion that overthrew the Taliban government in Kabul.
The UAE has supported US efforts to broker a peace deal with the Taliban, and hosted a first round of negotiations between the two sides late last year in Ab Dhabi.