The resumption of peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Doha after weeks of delays and a change in the US diplomatic leadership.
Peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government resumed in the Qatari capital, Doha, after weeks of delay, escalating violence and a change of US diplomatic leadership with the start of the Biden administration.
Taliban spokesman Muhammad Naim on Twitter on Monday evening, resuming talks that were the result of an agreement between the Afghan armed group and the United States in February 2020.
But President Joe Biden’s administration is reviewing the deal, which was aimed at ending America’s longest war. The Taliban have been fighting the combined forces of the Western-backed Kabul government and foreign forces since they were toppled in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Last week, the Taliban in an open letter called on the United States to fully implement the Doha Agreement, including the withdrawal of all international forces, saying they had committed to their side of the agreement – to secure American security interests in the war-torn country. .
And set the agenda
There were no details on the talks except for an announcement that the first item of work would be setting the agenda.
When the talks ended abruptly in January, days after they began, both sides submitted their wish lists for the agendas they now have to scrutinize to agree on the terms of the negotiation and the arrangement to be dealt with.
The priority for the Afghan government, Washington and NATO is a dangerous reduction in violence that could lead to a ceasefire, and the Taliban have so far resisted any immediate ceasefire.
Washington is reviewing the Doha peace accord the previous Trump administration signed with the Taliban as consensus grows in Washington that the withdrawal deadline should be pushed back. The Taliban resisted proposals until the extension was for a while.
There has been a suggestion that a smaller intelligence force remain behind that focuses almost exclusively on “counterterrorism” and ISIS (ISIS) which is increasingly active and militant in eastern Afghanistan.
But neither Washington nor NATO has yet announced a decision on the fate of the estimated 10,000 foreign soldiers, including the 2,500 American soldiers, who remain stationed in Afghanistan.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said last week that the transatlantic coalition forces would not withdraw from Afghanistan “before the appropriate time,” adding that the Taliban must do more to fulfill the terms of the agreement with the United States.
The Biden administration, which emphasized a political solution to the protracted conflict, retained US diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad, who negotiated the US agreement with the Taliban but He has so far avoided any definitive statements about the way forward in Afghanistan.
The resumption of talks in Doha comes on the heels of feverish diplomatic activity, including contacts with Pakistani officials and the powerful army commander, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Seen as critical in bringing the Taliban back to the negotiating table, Pakistan can use its influence to pressure the Taliban to reduce violence in Afghanistan.
Last week, the commander of the US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, was in Islamabad, as were the Afghan envoy of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Zamir Kabulov, and the special envoy of the Qatari Foreign Ministry Mutlaq bin Majid Al-Qahtani.
The special envoy of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Omar Dawudzai is expected to arrive in Islamabad on Wednesday.
While details of the meetings were imprecise, Afghanistan featured prominently and officials familiar with the talks said a reduction in violence and an eventual ceasefire dominated the discussions.
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