The United States and Taliban signed a peace deal in Doha, Qatar on Saturday after months of negotiations between both the sides, potentially ending the war in the country that is going on for 18 years.
The deal was signed by US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar with US Secretary of State Mr. Mike Pompeo as a witness. Representatives from India, Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were present during the signing of the deal.
The deal has four parts, full withdrawal of American and NATO Troops from Afghanistan within 14 months, a guarantee that the Taliban will not launch attacks on the USA and its allies from Afghanistan, beginning of intra-Afghan negotiations between Taliban and Afghan government, and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.
In a speech, Mr. Pompeo urged the militant group to “keep your promises to cut ties with al-Qaeda”.
“I know there will be a temptation to declare victory, but victory for Afghans will only be achieved when they can live in peace and prosper,” he said at the Doha ceremony.
Here’s the 4 page text of the US/Taliban deal signed in Doha. Trump has described it as “a powerful path forward to end the war in Afghanistan and bring our troops home.” pic.twitter.com/gmFetTYIZb
— Michele Kelemen (@michelekelemen) February 29, 2020
In a statement, the Taliban said it had reached an agreement “about the termination of occupation of Afghanistan”. “The accord about the complete withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan and never intervening in its affairs in the future is undoubtedly a great achievement,” they said.
Under the agreement, the US will undergo the process of drawing down 8600 troops from the land of Afghanistan in the first 135 days with allies also withdrawing their forces proportionately. Remaining forces are expected to leave within the other Nine and half months.
The deal also includes a process of the prisoner swap. Around 5000 Taliban and 1,000 Afghan security force prisoners may be interchanged by 10 March, the day when talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government are due to start.
Also, the US will lift sanctions against the Taliban and work with the UN to lift its separate sanctions against the group.
The agreement also states that Taliban members will not use Afghanistan to threat the security of USA and its allies, and they will not have any ties with anyone who poses such security threat for the USA and its allies. It further states the Taliban will prevent
Since 2011, Taliban Leaders have been moved to Qatar to discuss peace with Afghanistan.
In 2018, the militant group announced that they would meet the US to find a “roadmap to peace”. But later they refused to hold official talks with the Afghan Government terming them as American “puppets.”
Afghan war began when America launched Air-strikes one month after 9/11/2001 after the Taliban refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden to America.
The US with the help of an international coalition including forces from various nations conducted ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’, removing the Taliban from power. The Taliban turned into a militant group and conducted deadly attacks, destabilizing various Afghan governments.
President Donald Trump has been advocating the withdrawal of American forces from foreign lands, and this peace deal marks a success for him in this regard. Last year Trump had ordered the withdrawal of American troops from Northern Syria.
The full text of the USA-Taliban deal is given below: