Biden administration to review U.S.-Afghan Taliban agreement
Washington, Jan 23 (IANS) The White House said that the administation of US President Joe Biden would review the country’s agreement with the Taliban, which was signed in February 2020.
In a statement on Friday, the White House said that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had conveyed the decision to his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib during a phone call earlier in the day, Xinhua news agency reported.
Sullivan said that the US would assess “whether the Taliban was living up to its commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders”.
“Sullivan committed to consulting closely with the Government of Afghanistan, NATO allies, and regional partners regarding a collective strategy to support a stable, sovereign, and secure future for Afghanistan,” the statement added.
The US and Taliban signed the historic agreement on February 29, 2020, which called for a full withdrawal of the American military forces from the war-torn country by May 2021 if the militant group meets the conditions of the deal, including severing ties with other terrorist organisations.
Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday in his confirmation hearing that the Al Qaeda still maintained a relationship with the Taliban.
The war in Afghanistan, which has caused about 2,400 US military deaths, is the longest one in American history.
Former President Donald Trump had accelerated the pullout from the country in the final months of his term, though some of his senior aides had suggested a more cautious approach.
The Pentagon confirmed last week that US troops in Afghanistan had reduced to the 2,500 level.