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Devastated by Trump’s defeat, Taliban try to woo Biden

Experts believe that U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will be highly likely to not follow on Trump’s footsteps in handling the Taliban, and that there is possibility of far-reaching foreign-policy realignments in Washington towards Afghanistan

Seddiq Hussainy

KABUL: After Joe Biden defeated his Republican incumbent rival Donald Trump in the high-stakes 2020 presidential election, the Taliban are now grasping at straws to woo the next US president fearing he may renege on his predecessor’s peace deal with them.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden has won the rancorous US Presidential Election becoming the 46th President of the United States on Saturday after 5 days of a vote recount following feats of frenzied opposition by his rival Donald Trump to Biden’s insurmountable lead earlier which triggered a recount.

With Trump’s losing election and failing to secure a second term in the White House, the Taliban are grasping at claws to woo preside-elect Joe Biden to stay the course with Trump administration’s peace deal signed in February.

The accord laid the cornerstone of long-sought peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the militants who have been fighting since 2 decades. But, it also led to a steep surge in Taliban belligerence and insurgent attacks.

The Taliban have arrived at the conviction that Biden may reverse Trump’s détente with them and destroy their prognostications about leverage in power-sharing talks. Now left disorientated

The Taliban’s spokesman Naeem Wardak has said talks with Afghan government should remain unaffected as part of Washington’s commitment under the February accord. “We signed the agreement with the American government, not a person,” he said.

Political expert Gen. Atiqullah Amarkhil believes Joe Biden’s win will impact U.S. politics despite the entrenched influence of the Congress. “Biden’s election as the next president of the United States will herald a positive direction in US foreign policy and its approach towards the rest of the world, especially Afghanistan,” he opined.

In regards with Afghanistan, Amarkhil said, Biden did not give a mention in his election campaign. “But Trump has been very close with the Taliban and even extolled them once for being ‘very smart and sharp’. But, Biden is highly likely to not follow on Trump’s footsteps and there is possibility of foreign policy realignments in Washington towards tackling the Taliban,” he said in an exclusive interview with Afghanistan Times.

He also believes that the U.S. president-elect will mount pressure on militants and Pakistan to engage scrupulously in peace negotiations with Afghanistan government, which would in turn set the ground for the long-awaited withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Mr. Amarkhil called upon the Afghan government to sow and nurture national unity and consolidate its partnership with the US government to lead peace talks to a favorable outcome.

“Joe Biden set an example by calling on American people to be united again. That’s what Afghanistan needs, unity, solidarity and peace,” said advisor to former President Hamid Karzai, Shahzada Masoud, in an interview with Afghanistan Times.

Mr. Masoud said Afghanistan expects the next U.S. president to take practical steps in resolving Afghanistan’s conflict by pursuing peace talks to end the war and bring peace once and for all to the war-ravaged country.

Biden’s win as the U.S. president caused euphoria in Afghanistan. Afghan leaders have congratulated Biden’s win, hoping to bank on his enthusiasm to change the course of events and to mount pressure on Taliban to concede to peace negotiations.

President Ghani offered his congratulations on president-elect Joe Biden for his victory, saying Afghanistan is willing to continue its multilayered strategic partnership with the United States which is a foundational partner to Afghanistan in fighting terrorism and bringing peace to the country.

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