Taliban accuse Washington of violating the Doha agreement

The Taliban accused the United States on Friday of violating the agreement signed in February last year in Doha by "bombing civilians", shortly after Washington criticized the movement for not respecting its obligations under the agreement.

Taliban spokesman Muhammad Naeem told AFP that the movement is determined to respect the Doha agreement, which paves the way for the complete withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan by May, and that "it has not violated this agreement at all."

The spokesman asserted that the Americans, otherwise, “violate it (the agreement) almost every day” by “bombing civilians, homes and villages,” considering that this matter is not only a “violation of the agreement but a violation of human rights.”

In recent months, the US military has launched several air strikes against the Taliban, in support of Afghan government forces.

This response comes after US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby accused the rebels Thursday of not fulfilling their obligations stipulated in the agreement.

"As long as they do not fulfill their commitment to renounce terrorism and end violent attacks against the Afghan army (...), it will be difficult for any party at the negotiating table" to fulfill their promises, Kirby said.

This is the first time that the administration of the new president, Joe Biden, has issued a stance so clear on the behavior of the Taliban, after the new administration announced that it intended to "assess" the Taliban’s respect for its obligations.

The agreement, concluded by the Trump administration, stipulates the complete withdrawal of US forces by May in exchange for a Taliban pledge not to allow terrorist organizations to operate from areas under their control and not to target US forces.

The agreement allowed for the first direct peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Kabul authorities, which began in September in Doha, but did not produce any tangible results.

The recent peace negotiations have not prevented an escalation of violence a few months ago in Kabul and several Afghan provinces, where targeted assassinations of journalists, political figures and human rights activists take place.

 

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