Taliban expect Biden to stand by Doha peace deal


KABUL: The Taliban expect the new U.S. President Joe Biden to stick to the peace agreement the country signed with the insurgent group in February.

A ‘conditions-based’ peace deal was inked with the Taliban based on which the U.S. and NATO forces are supposed to fully withdraw from Afghanistan by May 2021.

The U.S. has already cut its troops’ presence to around 4,500 soldiers from around 13,000, subsequent to their pact and vacated many Afghan bases.

Taliban’s spokesman for Doha office, Mohammad Naeem, says “it (the agreement) serves the interest of the Afghan nation and the interest of the American nation. It should not be subject to any significant change and should be implemented in the form in which it is agreed upon.”

“We expect that the ongoing peace process and the agreement with the U.S. government will remain on track,” he added.

This comes as President Ghani and ordinary citizens in the country welcomed Biden’s victory in elections, hoping that he will slow down the foreign troop departure and bring a stable peace in Afghanistan.

During his campaign, Biden stated that if he were elected, he would uphold a small troop presence in Afghanistan to confirm al-Qaida and Islamic State terrorists do not threaten the United States from the war-ravaged country.  

The Taliban, however, still emphasizes that they want all foreign troops to withdraw from Afghanistan for a durable peace deal.