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Taliban expect Biden to abide by Afghanistan pullout deal

The file photo, taken on July 26, 2020, shows Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers in a US military base in Achin district of Nangarhar province. (By AFP)

The Taliban militant group says it expects US President-elect Joe Biden to abide by a deal reached with outgoing President Donald Trump, who promised to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan.

The Trump administration signed the deal in February. The agreement was also supposed to lay the groundwork for a peace process between the Taliban and the Afghan government. The recent uptick in violence has only made that prospect unlikely. 

Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban, said on Sunday, “We signed the agreement with the American government not a person.”

“We hope that the process that has started will not be weakened, but rather strengthened.”

“The ongoing intra-Afghan talks is part of the agreement (with the US) and shall continue unaffected.”

Violence continues in Afghanistan even as Kabul negotiators and the Taliban have been meeting in Qatar to reach a peace deal. There has been little progress in those meetings since September 12.

Both sides have routinely accused each other of upping hostilities and killing civilians.

Scattered calls to boycott the ongoing peace talks have been raised following back-to-back attacks on education centers in Kabul claimed by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group. Some in the government insist they were carried out by the Taliban.

At least 35 people, mostly students, were killed last week, when heavily-armed gunmen stormed the Kabul University.

The United Nations has already warned that it is alarmed by the steep increase in the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan and a “striking deterioration” in the security situation.

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