Conflicts & War

Kabul welcomes Biden review of US-Taliban agreement to withdraw troops

Kabul, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- Afghanistan welcomes the new US administration’s decision to review the US-Taliban agreement of 29 February, under which all US troops will be withdrawn from the South Asian country by spring of this year, the government said Saturday.

“The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan welcomes the decision of the new US administration to review the Doha agreement between the United States and the Taliban,” Abdullah Khenjani, Afghan Acting Minister for State Ministry for Peace said in a video statement.

Khenjani said Afghan government “at the same time requests that this review (of the Doha agreement) take place based on the demands of the Afghan people, which are the immediate end of the violence, reaching a just and lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

Khenjani’s remarks came just hours after the US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, in a phone call with his Afghan Counterpart, Hamdullah Mohib, announced the Joe Biden administration’s decision to review its deal with Taliban.

“Mr. Sullivan also made clear the United States’ intention to review the February 2020 U.S.-Taliban agreement, including to assess whether the Taliban was living up to its commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders” US National Security Council said in a statement.

Afghan government has repeatedly in recent months blamed the Taliban for not living up to their commitments of the Doha agreement and blamed the group for increased violence in the country instead of decreasing it while not cutting ties with the terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda.

“The current level of violence in Afghanistan is unacceptably high and should be decreased,” said Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) on Saturday in Kabul during a meeting.

“Although we are not hopeless with the (peace) process but at least at first opportunity an agreement should have been reached on the nationwide ceasefire” Abdullah said, referring to the ongoing intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha, which are underway between the government and Taliban for the past more than four months.

During the first round of talks, which lasted three months from September 12 until December 12, the two sides made no meaningful progress, only agreeing on rules and procedures of the talks.

In the second round which began on 5 January, the two factions have failed to hold talks to finalize the agenda, as Taliban are still not ready to attend the meetings.

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