The Afghan Taliban say talks have begun with the Afghan government and the Joe Biden administration over the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.
Zalmai Khalilzad, the special envoy for the Afghan operation, said the meeting with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the head of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, and other leaders had been good. According to Zalmai Khalilzad, the two sides met on Friday, March 5.
On the other hand, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said that he will not deviate from the country’s constitution in any way, while the political future of Afghanistan will be decided only through free and fair elections under the supervision of the international community.
Ashraf Ghani made the remarks at the start of the third term of the Afghan Legislative Assembly on March 6. The Afghan president added that he was ready to discuss the election date so that an agreement could be reached.
It is also worth noting that the Taliban do not recognize Ashraf Ghani’s Kabul government. From the beginning, the Taliban have argued that the Kabul government is illegitimate and a sign of US occupation of Afghanistan. Therefore, after the inter-Afghan talks, it is inevitable to implement an Islamic government in the country.
Zalmai Khalilzad is in Doha after a three-day visit to Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, he met with the Kabul government, members of civil society, and other political leaders. The State Department has confirmed that the first contact between US President Joe Biden’s administration and the Taliban was through Zalmai Khalilzad.
It should be noted that the peace agreement was signed between the United States and the Taliban on February 29, 2020, after talks in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
Under the agreement, the United States agreed to a full withdrawal of US and coalition forces from Afghanistan by May 2021, including the release of Taliban fighters held in Afghan jails.
1/4 Just concluded a productive three days of consultations in Kabul with government officials, civil society and women leaders, and other Afghan political figures. pic.twitter.com/LDVa1rCGc5
— U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) March 3, 2021