AFGHANISTAN. Herat: The formula for the future government of Afghanistan and a comprehensive ceasefire in the country were the two major topics discussed between Afghan and Taliban delegations for the past weeks in Doha, Qatar. But unity on the agenda of the talks still stalled, despite the remaining members of the two sides arrived four days ago. The delegations of both sides ensured that the agenda for the talks should be finalized this week.
Sources close to the Taliban told Afghan TOLO News TV in Kabul that the Taliban were waiting for Joe Biden’s policy on US troops’ withdrawal. The group will now focus on speeding up the peace process.
When Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States of America will take the office on January 20, his administration will have to come up with a decision regarding the urgent foreign policy choices. The government has to either follow the US-Taliban Doha February 2020 agreement and pull out the remaining U.S troops from Afghanistan by May 2021 (which the Taliban consistently asked the United States to bring down the level of foreign troops by zero) or renegotiate the entire deal as a reverse move.
Security situation of Afghanistan
Based on the US-Taliban deal, the US cut down its troops from 13,000 to 2,500 on January 15, 2020. But a surge in violence and little progress in the peace talks has concerned many Afghans of the sudden foreign troops’ withdrawal.
However, the Afghan government has said that the foreign troops’ withdrawal will have no effects on the security situation in Afghanistan. In a statement, the Afghan Defense Ministry said, “The Afghan army has been the independent capacity of confronting the terrorism.”
Meanwhile, the current US Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller has said that the country is planning to reduce the troop level to zero by May 2021 but it will be “condition-based”.
Joe Biden sticking to Trump’s deal with Taliban
In an interview with Fareed Zakaria of CNN, Jake Sullivan, the National Security advisor for Joe Biden said, “There’s currently a US Taliban agreement and it imposes some obligations on the United States and it imposes some on obligations on the Taliban. Cutting ties with Al-Qaida. reducing violence, participating in the negotiations with the Afghan government of the Taliban obligations.”
“The United States under President Joe Biden will support diplomacy along these lines,” he added.
Subsequently, a Taliban spokesman, Dr. Mohammad Naeem reacted with a tweet saying, “We are committed to the points in the agreement and want the same from the other side.”
In a series of picks by Biden for his administration, he appointed William Burns as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director. In Aug 2020, Burns talked about the further withdrawal of U.S troops from Afghanistan, under agreements negotiated with the Taliban and in close coordination with the Afghan government as a conservative foreign policy move.
Meanwhile, the NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) meeting of defense ministers is scheduled to take place in the middle of February to stay on the US-Taliban deal. The UK and other members of the NATO countries consistently underlines a condition-based drawdown.