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Taliban 'committed' to peace agreement with US

'We are about to sign an agreement with' US, 'fully committed to carrying out its every single provision,' says group

Servet Günerigök   | 20.02.2020
Taliban 'committed' to peace agreement with US ( Sefa Karacan - Anadolu Agency )

WASHINGTON

The Taliban is fully committed to a peace agreement with the U.S. to reduce violence in Afghanistan, according to its deputy leader.  

Sirajuddin Haqqani said in an opinion piece published in the New York Times that Washington also has commitments to ensure the agreement's success.

"We are about to sign an agreement with the United States and we are fully committed to carrying out its every single provision, in letter and spirit. Achieving the potential of the agreement, ensuring its success and earning lasting peace will depend on an equally scrupulous observance by the United States of each of its commitments.

"Only then can we have complete trust and lay the foundation for cooperation — or even a partnership — in the future," Haqqani wrote.

Peace talks with the U.S. have been completed and an agreement is expected to be signed at the end of February, Maulvi Abdul Salam Hanafi, a senior Taliban leader and member of the negotiation team, told the Afghanistan-based Nunn.asia website Monday.

He said the two sides have completed peace talks in Doha, Qatar.

Haqqani said the Taliban is committed to working with other parties on a new and inclusive political system in which the voice of every Afghan is reflected and where no Afghan feels excluded.

"I am confident that, liberated from foreign domination and interference, we together will find a way to build an Islamic system in which all Afghans have equal rights, where the rights of women that are granted by Islam — from the right to education to the right to work — are protected, and where merit is the basis for equal opportunity," he said.

The Taliban leader rejected "inflated" concerns that Afghanistan could be used by groups to threaten regional and international security.

"Reports about foreign groups in Afghanistan are politically motivated exaggerations by the warmongering players on all sides of the war. It is not in the interest of any Afghan to allow such groups to hijack our country and turn it into a battleground," he said.

He pledged that the Taliban will take measures with Afghanistan's people to make sure the country is "a bastion of stability and that nobody feels threatened on our soil."

"We are ready to work on the basis of mutual respect with our international partners on long-term peace-building and reconstruction. After the United States withdraws its troops, it can play a constructive role in the postwar development and reconstruction of Afghanistan," he added.

The agreement between the U.S. and Taliban, that was nearly signed last September, sets the timetable for the American exit from Afghanistan in exchange for Taliban safeguards that the country does not become a hotbed for terrorist groups and beginning talks with Ghani’s government.

However, U.S. President Donald Trump canceled the proposed peace deal with the insurgents at the last minute for the killing of a U.S. soldier in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

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