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Taliban warn to resume attacks if US stalls on pullout

AT News

KABUL: The Taliban leadership has warned they will resume attacks on U.S. forces if Washington does not pull troops out of Afghanistan as promised, Taliban officials told BBC on Monday.

The Taliban have warned the United States against breaching its commitment to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan in the next six months, saying if the U.S. did not live up to its promises, they would retaliate by resuming military strikes on foreign forces.

This is as the U.S. president-elect Joe Biden had said in his campaign that a small group of US troops would remain in Afghanistan.

The United States and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in Doha, Qatar, last winter after 18 months of breathtaking negotiations.

The agreement focused on four pillars including preventing the use of Afghan territory by any group against security of the U.S. and its allies, announcing a timetable for withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan, initiating intra-Afghan negotiations and agreeing on a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire.

The United States has lived up to its commitments by withdrawing part of its forces from Afghanistan 135 days after the signing of a peace agreement with the Taliban, but violence in the country remains high.

The Afghan government had released about 5,000 Taliban fighters and the Taliban released 1,000 security personnel in a historic swap this year. Intra-Afghan talks also began, and the two sides only managed to finalize the negotiation procedure within 80 days.

In recent days, the spokespersons of the government and Taliban negotiating delegations agreed in a “joint declaration” on the exchange of agendas (the focus of the talks) and the date of the next round of talks in 2021.

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