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Consultations between Russia, US, and Afghanistan to resume


Consultations between Russia, US, and Afghanistan to resume

American and Taliban representatives signing a peace treaty in Doha in February
Photo: Hussein Sayed/AP

The US, Russia, and Afghanistan will hold virtual tripartite discussions today.

When the US-Taliban deal was signed in February, the US promised to reduce forces in Afghanistan and lift sanctions if the Taliban would guarantee that it would refrain from attacking American soldiers. Thus far, the US has upheld agreed-upon measures for the initial phase, namely by reducing its troop levels in the country. However, the Taliban, according to US military leaders, has not yet generated assurances enough for US troops to completely withdraw by May 2021. Specifically, US military leaders have assessed that Al-Qaida leaders still maintain bases in Afghanistan, an assessment that the Taliban has refuted.

Although there is doubt that the Taliban is not attacking US forces in the country, the group is living up to other pledges. It has released 3,000 prisoners of war and plans to release an additional 2,000 within a short period. Moreover, Taliban officials are not overtly attacking US and coalition partners’ forces, although Afghan security forces continue to be targeted. Furthermore, the Taliban has indicated a willingness to talk to Afghan leaders, which would be a critical next step in the Afghan peace process.

All this taken in consideration, expect that Afghan and Taliban officials will continue taking small steps in the direction of peace. However, whether an eventual peace agreement will last will depend upon meeting the smaller milestones necessary for a legitimate agreement to take effect.

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