“Biden Aide: US to Review Taliban Deal on Withdrawal of Troops” — Kevin Barnett of PressTV

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The administration of newly-elected US President Joe Biden says it will review the agreement Washington reached with the Taliban last year, which is mainly focused on withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.”

“Biden’s newly appointed national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, informed his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib,about the “United States’ intention to review” the deal in a phone call on Friday, according to a White House statement.

Sullivan said Washington wants to check that the Taliban side is “living up to its commitments to… reduce violence in Afghanistan, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders.”

Mohib, for his part, wrote in a tweet that during the phone call the two sides had “agreed to work toward a permanent ceasefire and a just and durable peace” in Afghanistan.

The US reached a deal with the Taliban in February last year on the withdrawal of 12,000 US troops from Afghanistan in exchange for the Taliban’s halting of

of their attacks on American forces.

Under the deal, the former President Donald Trump’s administration promised to bring the number of US forces in Afghanistan to zero by May 2021.

US troops in Afghanistan at lowest level in 19 years: Trump
troops in Afghanistan at lowest level in 19 years: TrumpPresident Donald Trump says the number of US troops in Afghanistan has reached a 19-year low.

Sediq Sediqqi, deputy interior minister and former spokesman to President Ashraf Ghani, lambasted on Friday the Taliban’s failure to live up to the February deal, saying the agreement had failed to achieve its stated goals.

“The agreement so far, did not deliver a desired goal of ending Taliban’s violence and bringing a ceasefire desired by the Afghans,” Sediqqi said on Twitter. “The Taliban did not live up to its commitments.”

Last week, the number of US troops in Afghanistan went down to 2,500, the lowest level of American forces there since 2001.

International calls for a ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban have increased as violence levels have surged in the country over the past months.

A report said last year that Taliban bombings and other assaults had increased by 70 percent after the US-Taliban agreement.

Afghan officials leave for Doha to resume talks with Taliban
Afghan officials leave for Doha to resume talks with TalibanAfghan government officials and Taliban representatives are set to resume a second round of talks in the Qatari capital, Doha.

Pakistan urges Biden to stick to troop withdrawal

On Thursday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called on the new US president to follow up on the ongoing Afghan peace process and American troops withdrawal from the country.

“I think they [Biden administration] should realize there is an opportunity in Afghanistan and they should persevere with what was initiated and not reverse things,” Qureshi told Qatar’s Al Jazeera Arabic broadcaster.

“Push them forward, because, after a long time, we have started moving in the right direction.”

The top Pakistani diplomat also expressed his country’s readiness to help expedite the peace process between the two sides.

“We are concerned because we feel violence can vitiate the climate,” Qureshi said. “Pakistan has done a lot, we have really bent backwards to create an environment to facilitate the peace process.

Nine Afghan forces killed in Taliban attacks: Officials
Nine Afghan forces killed in Taliban attacks: OfficialsTaliban militants attack two police checkpoints in the restive province of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, killing at least nine Afghan security personnel, local officials say.

The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 under the pretext of the so-called war on terror, overthrowing a Taliban regime.

Since the US invasion of Afghanistan, Washington has spent more than two trillion dollars waging the war on the impoverished country, according to some estimates. Over 2,400 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed.

Credit: Kevin Barnett. Publication: PressTV. Source:

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