Biden administration to review US-Taliban withdrawal deal

Biden administration to review US-Taliban withdrawal deal


Washington: The Biden administration stated that it will review the landmark agreement reached between the United States and the Taliban on one side of the agreement, focusing on whether the insurgent organization has reduced its attacks on Afghanistan.

Washington reached an agreement with the Taliban in Qatar last year to begin withdrawing its troops in exchange for the security of the militants and promised to initiate peace talks with the Afghan government.

President Joe Biden’s newly appointed national security advisor, 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.

Specifically, Washington wants to check that the Taliban 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.”

It added that Sullivan “emphasized that the United States will support the peace process through strong regional diplomatic efforts, with the goal of helping the two parties achieve a lasting and just political settlement and a permanent ceasefire.”

Sullivan also discussed the recent progress made by the United States in supporting the protection of the rights of women and minorities in the peace process.

When getting in touch with the Taliban, the Taliban stated that they were still “committed to the agreement and fulfilled our commitments”.

Mohammad Naeem, the spokesperson of the organization in Qatar, told AFP: “We hope that the other party will continue to work on the agreement.”

After months of speculation about how the new government might readjust its policies in Afghanistan, officials in Kabul were relieved by Washington’s move.

Mohib, the Afghan national security advisor, tweeted that during the call the two sides “agreed to work toward a permanent ceasefire and a just and durable peace” in the country.

Deadly attacks and high-profile assassinations have increased in recent months, particularly in Kabul where several journalists, activists, judges and politicians have been murdered in brazen daylight attacks.

The Taliban have denied responsibility for these killings, but Afghan and US officials have blamed the group for the murders.

On Tuesday, Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, told his Senate confirmation hearing that “we want to end this so-called forever war.”

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