White House will review the agreement with the Taliban

WASHINGTON, (BM) – The United States will review the peace deal reached with the Taliban last year; the White House said on Friday in a statement after national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke over the phone with his Afghan counterpart.

Under the agreement between the United States and the Taliban of February 2020, U.S. forces are to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 to exchange anti-terrorist guarantees from the Taliban. Last week, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan dropped to 2,500, the lowest U.S. force in the country since 2001.

The level of violence in Afghanistan has increased. All this has accelerated international calls for a ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Representatives from both sides met earlier this month for the first session of the second round of peace talks. Contentious issues such as ceasefires and the separation of powers had to discuss.

Sullivan told Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib that the review would assess. “Whether the Taliban is upholding its commitments to sever ties with terrorist groups, reduce violence in Afghanistan and engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders,” the White said House.

In a White House statement, Sullivan stressed that the United States would support the peace process: “through a strong regional diplomatic effort” to help both sides achieve a lasting and fair political settlement and a lasting ceasefire.

Where, when, and what?

On February 29, 2020, a meeting between representatives of the White House and then-President Donald Trump and the Taliban administration held in Doha. Both parties signed an agreement that day, stating that the United States would withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and that the Taliban would not attack US troops from the country.

The United States and the Taliban have been conducting these talks since 2019. US Representative to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and the delegation of the Taliban political office in Doha, after eight rounds of interviews, agreed on a draft peace treaty, including a ceasefire, the withdrawal of foreign troops. Afghanistan and the start of joint inter-Afghan peace talks.

Historical: U.S. and Taliban signed a peace agreement in Doha
Photo credit: Reuters

In September, however, after a series of terrorist attacks by the Taliban in Kabul and several other cities that also killed US troops, President Donald Trump ordered the suspension of talks with the Taliban and the agreement to be rescinded.

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