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Author Topic: Afghanistan: the long road to peace  (Read 1 times)


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Afghanistan: the long road to peace
« on: May 24, 2020, 04:53:16 am »
The United States and the Afghan Taliban have signed an agreement aimed at securing an end to almost 20 years of violent conflict in Afghanistan.
The deal was done after a seven-day partial ceasefire, agreed as a trust building exercise.
The two sides came together at a signing ceremony in Doha, led by US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani
Baradar. Mr Baradar said he hoped Afghanistan could now emerge from four decades of conflict.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of Mike Pompeo, who witnessed the signing, alluded to the difficult work that remains.
"I know there will be a temptation to declare victory, but victory for Afghans will only be achieved when they can live in peace and prosper,"
he said. Afghanistan has been at war for more than 40 years, and following the US invasion in 2001, the conflict has also become America's
longest war. US-led forces overthrew the Taliban government because it provided a safe haven for the al-Qaeda leadership, which directed the
September 11 attacks. Who are the Taliban? How much has the Afghanistan war cost the US?
A new interim government was formed, while Taliban members were classed as "enemy combatants", with many of them killed or imprisoned.
For a while, Afghanistan seemed to be heading towards stability.
But by 2004 the Taliban were back, launching an insurgency against the government of President Hamid Karzai and the foreign troops which
supported it. The first real attempt to reconcile the Taliban was the formation of the Afghan High Peace Council in 2010.
This was a group of politicians, civil society activists and former Mujahideen, also including several women as well as moderate Taliban figures.
The idea was to open up communication channels with the insurgents to talk peace.
To provide the Taliban with an address, the Qatari government agreed to establish a political office for the insurgents which opened in Doha in 2013.
But the announcement that the US would hold direct talks with the Taliban there angered then-president Hamid Karzai.
And when the Taliban flag was raised above the building and a plaque installed, reading "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan", President Karzai
protested and the office duly closed within days. But Taliban members stayed on in Qatar

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