Scuttling of the near-certain Afghan peace accord

Clay Curtis
September 12, 2019

It was the first incident since President Trump abruptly announced that the USA peace talks with the Taliban were off.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump said that US peace talks with the Taliban were "dead" after the group claimed responsibility for an attack that killed a US service member in Kabul on 5 September.

Afghanistan stands at yet another transformational juncture, Mr Akbaruddin said as he noted that preparations are underway for Presidential elections in the country, scheduled just a few weeks from now.

"If anyone dares to strike our land, we will respond with the full measure of American power and the iron will of the American spirit", Trump said.

Early hours of Sunday, Mr. Trump announced he scrapped plans at the last minute to invite Taliban leaders to the U.S. for peace negotiations, citing a bombing that killed a United States service member and 11 other people days earlier.

"We had an agreement on partial ceasefire but it was supposed to be signed to come into effect", Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Dawn from Doha.

Rice said that the president's cancellation of the talks "was a good decision". The US now has over 14,000 troops in the war-torn country. "The partial ceasefire was to be limited to the foreign forces in Afghanistan", he said.

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"The global community needs to continue its support by fulfilling the commitments made to the Afghan security forces in their fight against the scourge of terrorism", he said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Al Jazeera the United States would suffer the consequences of axing the talks. The negotiations called for the Pentagon to withdraw about 5,400 of the 14,000 US troops deployed, and it is not clear whether Trump will still pursue that level without a deal with the Taliban.

Secretary Pompeo appeared to confirm the Taliban's assertion.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's office has cautiously saluted the "sincere efforts of its allies" after Trump cancelled the unprecedented - and separate - meetings with the Taliban and Ghani at Camp David outside Washington.

There is no immediate indication as to whether and when these peace negotiations might resume.

Trump's move ended a almost year-long diplomatic process led by veteran USA diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad, who held nine rounds of talks with the Taliban, mostly in Qatar.

The Taliban has not made any comments yet. "But we remain in touch with each other through email and WhatsApp".

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