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US-Taliban deal can be annulled if commitments violated: Khalid

By Rafiullah Anwari

KABUL: The Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid has talked about possibility in breaking peace deal between the US and the Taliban if the Taliban side did not take practical actions in accordance to the agreement to reduce or completely halt attacks.

Talking in a televised interview, Khalid hoped the US and Taliban peace deal – which is considered a crucial step – to lead to a sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

The US, Afghan forces and Taliban fighters had agreed on a seven-day partial truce, aiming to examine the group’s control on its fighters. Although the Afghan security forces were in a defensive position, Khalid said the group’s fighters conducted several assaults in the frontlines, but the security forces pushed back the militants.  

“The weeklong partial truce is the beginning of its continuation and one of the preconditions is that the weeklong reduction in violence leads to a ceasefire,” he added.

He said that the Taliban leadership doesn’t have control on some of its commanders and that the Afghan government has been discussing these concerns.  

He once again emphasized that US and NATO would continue supports to the Afghan Security Forces.

On September, 2018, the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad began the peace negotiations with the Taliban representatives in Qatar’s capital, Doha. After almost 13 rounds of peace talks, the US and Taliban had agreed on one week reduction in violence that laid the ground for a peace deal between Washington and Taliban Qatar based political office. The peace deal would be followed by gradual pull out of foreign forces and facilitation of direct-Afghan-talks.

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