The US and the radical movement “Taliban” have signed an agreement designed to launch the peace process in Afghanistan and end the longest war in American history, which claimed tens of thousands of lives and cost billions of dollars, BBC reports.
Photo: facebook/ The White House
USA hope with the agreement to end two decades of conflict and return home 13 thousand troops in Afghanistan.
The agreement States:
The US withdraw troops in 14 months, if the Taliban would abide by the agreement
After signing the agreement to begin negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government
The Taliban will not allow any of their members, including al-Qaida to use Afghanistan to undermine the security of the United States and its allies
The US and the Afghan government released 5 thousand prisoners, the Taliban will release thousands of prisoners to March 10
“The United States, its allies, and the Coalition will complete the withdrawal of remaining forces from Afghanistan within 14 months after the announcement of the joint Declaration and the agreement between the US and the Taliban — said in the text of the agreement.
US troops entered Afghanistan almost 19 years ago after the attacks of 11 September 2001. The longest military campaign in American history. During the conflict killed more than 2400 American military.
Many observers have called the deal quite risky for the administration of President Donald trump, as a matter of fact she legitimitely “Taliban” in the eyes of the international community. But for millions of Afghans, the agreement is a chance to live in peace after four decades of wars and civil strife.
The promise to end the war in Afghanistan was a key in the election campaign trump. At the same time, the Minister of defense mark Esper has promised that the U.S. was willing to cancel the agreement if something goes wrong.
Agreement as the parties hope, will help to reduce the level of violence in Afghanistan and to resolve the political crisis in the country. At the same time, experts expect that intra-Afghan talks will proceed much more heavily than the present.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani expressed the hope that through the agreement the cease-fire in Afghanistan will be permanent.
In Doha for the signing of the agreement a delegation of 31 members of the radical movement, and Secretary of state mark Pompeo, Minister of defense mark Esper, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“Decline of violence”
From February 22 in Afghanistan during the week acted “mode to reduce the level of violence.” This week was supposed to be a test of whether the Taliban can control their powers and to perform its obligations after the transaction. Washington had previously promised that if seven-day truce would be effective, USA in the short term will reduce the military contingent in Afghanistan to 8.6 thousand people.
“It is expected that the successful implementation of this agreement will move forward the signing of the agreement between the United States and the Taliban. We are preparing for the signing, on 29 February,” said a statement from Mike Pompeo.
According to the UN mission for assistance to Afghanistan, which since 2009, has been counting the dead and injured in Afghanistan over the last 10 years in Afghanistan of 35 thousand civilians were killed, another 65 thousand people were injured.
In the summer of last year, the UN published a report which said that in the first half of 2019 as a result of actions of the Afghan army and NATO forces in Afghanistan have killed more civilians than at the hands of the Taliban and the “Islamic state” (organization banned in Russia). According to the UN, from January to June last year 717 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan by Pro-government forces and NATO troops, 531 — militants of anti-government forces including the Taliban and the troops. This pattern was observed for the first time since when more than 10 years ago, the United Nations began counting civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
Direct U.S. talks with the Taliban began in 2018 after 18 years of conflict. The Taliban demands the withdrawal of us troops and ending the use of Afghanistan as a base for missions in other countries.
The main stage of negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban continued for several months in 2019. During the eight rounds of negotiations, the US representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and a delegation of the political office of Taliban in Doha agreed on a draft peace Treaty, which provided for a ceasefire, the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and the beginning of universal inter-Afghan peace talks.
However, in September after a series of terrorist attacks by Taliban in Kabul and other cities, among the victims were us military, Donald trump ordered to stop talks with the Taliban and to cancel the signing of the agreement.
An unannounced visit trump in Afghanistan
In late November, an unannounced visit to Afghanistan there has arrived the President of the United States Donald trump. It was reported that he came to meet with the U.S. military, serving in this country, and to congratulate them on thanksgiving. It was his first visit to Afghanistan. Trump arrived in Afghanistan shortly after the Taliban freed two foreigners — American Kevin king and Australian Timothy wicks, who was captured in 2016.
Photo: facebook/ The White House
During a trip to Afghanistan, trump met with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani. After talks with Ghani trump said that the Taliban sought to negotiate a peace agreement. “They [the Taliban] didn’t want to stop the fire. Now they want a cease-fire. And I believe it will work,” said trump. During his visit to Afghanistan, Donald trump also said that the United States will significantly reduce its military presence in the country.
In mid-January it was reported that the Taliban gave the US representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, a document with proposals on the establishment of a temporary ceasefire in Afghanistan for a period from seven to ten days. The Taliban spokesman in Qatar confirmed the resumption of talks between the movement and Washington.
Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the agreement the U.S. and the Taliban on introduction of the “reduction in violence” in Afghanistan, and the intention of the parties to sign the agreement. According to NATO Secretary General, the decrease in violence and an agreement between the US and Taliban opens the way for negotiations between the authorities of Afghanistan and “the Taliban”.
Why it is difficult to negotiate with the Taliban?
The main problem is that the Taliban are fundamentally refuse talks with Kabul. The message of the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani in 2018, offered to recognize the Taliban as a political movement and to start negotiations without preconditions, pointedly left unanswered.
However, at the same time, the Taliban cannot defeat the government forces, the Western forces to seize power.
Another problem — organization of negotiations with the Taliban. The Taliban are the movement’s representatives in Doha, but the “political Bureau of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”, although has a certain independence, however, does not reflect the position of the entire movement, with a complex network structure. Separate groups of Taliban, in principle, configured to negotiate, while others oppose negotiations.
Previous negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban in 2015 stopped after it became known about death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, who gave consent to the negotiations.
In 2013, the attempt at negotiations broke down when the Taliban raised the flag above their office in Qatar — this angered the then President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, who felt that it undermined his authority.
Russia: “an important event”
Russia has described the signing of the agreement between the US and Taliban an “important event for the peace process in Afghanistan.” As previously reported, the signing ceremony of the agreement intends to present the special representative of Russian President for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov. Moscow previously expressed support for the negotiations.
“The Russian side has repeatedly stated about the inevitability of political and diplomatic methods of conflict settlement in Afghanistan, support the negotiations that should pave the way for the launch of direct inclusive inter-Afghan dialogue on peace and a political settlement in this country,” — said the official representative of the foreign Ministry of Russia Maria Zakharova.
The Russian authorities and banned in Russia, the Taliban have been conducting the negotiations. A delegation of Taliban visited Moscow three times — twice in 2019 and one in 2018.
Also in Moscow in the framework of this negotiation process came to the representatives of Afghan authorities, including former President Hamid Karzai.