KABUL: If the Taliban obstructs attempts to reach a peace settlement in Afghanistan, the group will face sanctions and isolation from the US and its allies, US Special Representative for Afghan peace, Zalmay Khalilzad said on Tuesday.
Addressing the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Khalilzad said that theTaliban must acknowledge that they have two choices for the future.
“But if they obstruct a negotiated settlement and instead pursue a military takeover, they will be opposed not only by the United States but by our allies, partners, and the region. They will face isolation, regional opposition, sanctions, and international opprobrium,” he said.
He said that the US-Taliban agreement was the only possible deal under the given circumstances.
“In the conditions, with the United States’ willingness to remove its troops from Afghanistan, the deal we reached with the Taliban was the best possible,” Khalilzad concluded.
These statements from Khalilzad come as the Taliban earlier refused to join any peace related negotiations until all foreign forces leave Afghanistan.
US on April 14 announced to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September 11, beyond the May 1 deadline the US previously agreed with the Taliban.