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Taliban grasping at straws to save U.S. deal

AT News

KABUL: In his meeting with the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, the head of the Taliban Qatar Based Political Office; Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has warned that “any further” delay in the implementation of the US-Taliban peace deal would “harm” the fragile Afghan peace process.

“Solution of the Afghan issue lies in the complete implementation of the agreement,” the militant’s spokesman in Qatar, Suhail Shaheen said as quoting Baradar.

Baradar emphasized on release of the Taliban prisoners, saying that the prisoners’ swap will pave the ground for intra-Afghan negotiations.

Regarding his trip to Qatar just after the two feuding Afghan leaders reached a power sharing agreement, ambassador Khalilzad said that he has emphasized on implementation of the US-Taliban agreement.

“I held three constructive meetings with Mullah Berader and members of the Taliban Political Commission. Emphasized the US-Taliban agreement is inter-connected: CT commitments, intra-Afghan negotiations, troop withdrawal, & gradual violence reduction leading to a permanent ceasefire,” Khalilzad wrote on twitter.

After his meeting with the Taliban representatives in Qatar, Khalilzad flew to Kabul, where he held talks with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah on the formation of an inslusive government and progression of the Afghan peace process.

“In my meeting with Dr Abdullah, we discussed his plans for operationalizing his new role and will be working closely with him and his team,” Khalilzad said.

Earlier, the Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada in his Eid message called on the US to not let anyone make the US-Taliban peace deal failed with creating hurdles against the implementation of the agreement. 

To engage into intra-Afghan negotiations, the Taliban insist on release of their 5,000 inmates agreed in the US-Taliban peace deal signed on February 29th in the Gulf State of Qatar, Doha.

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