UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The agreement between Washington and the Taliban banned in Russia will allow the United States to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan to about eight thousand people. This was stated by Donald Trump.
The document, which is already called historical, is signed in the capital of Qatar, Doha. The treaty must put an end to the armed conflict, which lasts almost 20 years.
The number of guests in the historic ceremony in Doha was less than expected: about a dozen delegations were afraid to come because of the coronavirus.
The key participants in the threat of infection did not stop. US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and influential Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar shook hands under the cheers from the audience.
The agreement provides that the United States will reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan from 12 to 8.6 thousand people, and then continue to withdraw its forces and NATO forces within 14 months.
In return, the Taliban should abandon the use of Afghan territory to attack the United States and other countries.
In addition, the parties agreed on a “permanent and comprehensive truce.” Direct negotiations between the Taliban and the Government of Afghanistan will be conducted as part of the inter-Afghan dialogue. In addition, the Taliban will begin to seek removal from the sanctions list in the UN Security Council.
“This is more likely Trump’s election campaign before the elections in November. The whole process will stretch for 14 months. In this situation, the United States will not go anywhere. The Taliban can also promise anything here. The Taliban really benefit from US influence. The Taliban will become stronger, they will have more profits, more human resources. For this, they will now promise anything,” says Dmitry Solonnikov, director of the Institute for Contemporary State Development.
US troops entered Afghanistan almost 19 years ago after the September 11, 2001 attacks. During the conflict, the official losses of the international coalition exceeded 3 and a half thousand people. Killed tens of thousands of civilians.
“The people of Afghanistan have been suffering for four decades. I hope that with the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan, our nation under the rule of the Islamic regime will feel relief and begin a new prosperous life. I urge all Afghans to negotiate honestly and sincerely for a strong Islamic power, for the sake of values Islam, for the sake of Afghanistan,” says Abdullah Gani Baradar, deputy leader of the Taliban movement.
According to the Special Representative of the President of Russia for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, several countries are ready to conduct inter-Afghan negotiations at once. Among them are Germany, Norway, Uzbekistan, Indonesia. Moreover, the Taliban themselves, according to the diplomat, would prefer a meeting in Moscow.
“If there is no war in Afghanistan and an inclusive Afghan government, it will suppress all remaining hotbeds of international terrorism with the help of the international community, be it ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and so on. And that’s direct benefit for Russia, “said Zamir Kabulov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Afghanistan, Director of the Second Asian Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At the same time as the Doha ceremony in Kabul, the US Secretary of Defense and NATO Secretary General signed a joint declaration with the Government of Afghanistan, represented by President Ashraf Ghani. The document obliges the Afghan side to participate in negotiations with the Taliban.
” If the Taliban do not fulfill their obligations , they will lose the opportunity to discuss the future of their country on an equal footing with the Afghans. Moreover, the United States will not hesitate to cancel this agreement,” the US Secretary of Defense said.
“NATO allies and partners entered Afghanistan together. We will adjust our presence together. And we will leave together when the time comes. This will happen only when we are confident that the Afghan forces no longer need our support and that Afghanistan will never again become a platform for international terrorists,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
US counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan will continue, the White House said. As President Trump said: “If bad things happen, we will quickly return our troops. I hope this is not needed.”
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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