Afghan Biographies

US and Taliban Talks Doha Dec 7, 2019

Name US and Taliban Talks Doha Dec 7, 2019
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U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad reportedly met with Taliban officials on December 7, 2019  in Qatar, the scene of previous negotiations, and was to continue the talks on December 8.

The “agreement in principle” that U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad had hammered out in nine rounds of talks with Taliban representatives in Qatar would take the first tentative steps toward peace since U.S. and allied forces deployed to Afghanistan following the attacks on 9/11, according to senior Afghan and Trump Administration officials familiar with its general terms. Defense Secretary Mark Esper was scheduled to discuss the closely held details of the deal with President Donald Trump in a Sept. 3 meeting, according to senior administration officials. If Trump had approved and a deal was struck, it could could hav begun a withdrawal of some 5,400 U.S. troops, roughly a third of the present force, from five bases within 135 days. But the deal didn’t ensure several crucial things, those familiar with the discussions said. It didn’t guarantee the continued presence of U.S. counterterrorism forces to battle al Qaeda, the survival of the pro-U.S. government in Kabul, or even an end to the fighting in Afghanistan.

The disruption in the talks had come at a crucial stage when both sides were believed to have come close to concluding an agreement that could have set the stage for a phased withdrawal of U.S. and allied troops from Afghanistan. In return, the deal would have outlined the Taliban’s counterterrorism guarantees in insurgent-controlled Afghan areas and given assurances the rebels would immediately engage in intra-Afghan negotiations for permanently ending decades of hostilities in the country.The Taliban says its fighters also would have observed a cease-fire with foreign troops in areas of troop withdrawal. However, the Taliban insist matters related to cessation of hostilities with Afghan security forces would only be on the agenda when Taliban-Afghan negotiations are launched. The insurgents are reluctant to observe a nationwide cease-fire, fearing it would undermine their military leverage. Analysts are skeptical whether Khalilzad and his team would be able to overcome the challenges.

According to Suail Shaheen, the agreement will be signed in the presence of 23 foreign ministers and international organizations in Doha, capital of Qatar.  

“US forces will leave Afghanistan once the agreement is signed and intra-Afghan dialogues will follow to discuss internal issues,” said Shaheen.

Meanwhile, some US officials  told media that the two sides have also held discussions to halt  US night raids on Taliban positions and the Taliban’s attack on US bases. According to these sources, Scott Miller, commander of US-Nato forces in Afghanistan has handed a list of US bases to Taliban, so that the group won’t attack them. However, the Taliban have said that any ceasefire between the group and US does not mean a ceasefire with Afghan government and the reduction of violence depends on the intra-Afghan talks.(20191210)



Last Modified 2019-12-10
Established 2019-12-09