Biden admin will review US-Taleban pullout deal

Reuters
Reuters

Washington - Violence across Afghanistan has surged despite the two sides engaging in those talks since September.



By AFP

Published: Sat 23 Jan 2021, 8:59 PM

The Biden administration said it will review a landmark US deal with the Taleban, focusing on whether the insurgent group has reduced attacks in Afghanistan, in keeping with its side of the agreement.

Washington struck a deal with the Taleban in Qatar last year, to begin withdrawing its troops in return for security guarantees from the militants and a commitment to kickstart peace talks with the Afghan government.

But violence across Afghanistan has surged despite the two sides engaging in those talks since September.

President Joe Biden’s newly appointed national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, spoke with his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib and “made clear the United States’ intention to review” the deal, said National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne late on Friday.

Specifically, Washington wants to check that the Taleban is “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,” her statement continued.

It added that Sullivan “underscored that the US will support the peace process with a robust and regional diplomatic effort, which will aim to help the two sides achieve a durable and just political settlement and permanent ceasefire.”

Sullivan also discussed the United States’ support for protecting recent progress made on women and minority groups’ rights as part of the peace process.

When contacted, the Taleban said they remained “committed to the agreement and honour our commitments”.

“We expect the other side to remain committed to the agreement too,” Mohammad Naeem, the group’s spokesman in Qatar, said.


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