Small Wars Journal

Afghans Voice Fears U.S. Undercutting Them In Deal With The Taliban

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 1:02am

Afghans Voice Fears U.S. Undercutting Them In Deal With The Taliban by Pamela Constable – Washington Post

For months, Afghans have been waiting anxiously to see whether negotiations between U.S. officials and Taliban insurgents will lead to a lasting peace and a solid path to power-sharing or leave them bereft, facing revived conflict and a possible Taliban takeover.

Those concerns deepened Saturday as news spread that President Trump’s top peace negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, had presented him Friday with a nearly finished deal that would remove thousands of U.S. troops but had not locked in Taliban commitments to a cease-fire or political negotiations with Afghan officials.

President Ashraf Ghani, who has been left out of the U.S.-Taliban talks at the insistence of the insurgents, made no statements Saturday. His spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, said Ghani had not yet been briefed on Friday’s developments but that his government would work with U.S. officials to achieve a “dignified and sustainable peace.”

Speaking at a news conference, Sediqqi noted that U.S. officials had assured Ghani that a U.S. troop withdrawal would be based on “conditions,” meaning only if the Taliban hold to their commitments. He said that if the insurgents are ready to stop violence and turn to political activity, “this can be a good deal for the Afghan people.”…

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