UNSC unanimously approves US-Taliban peace deal, US begins partial withdrawal of troops
The US military has already begun withdrawing some of its troops from Afghanistan as a part of the peace agreement.
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved the peace agreement signed between the United States and the Taliban, paving way for the complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. The deal was signed on February 29, 2020 in Doha, Qatar.
The US military has already begun withdrawing some of its troops from Afghanistan as a part of the deal. The complete withdrawal of US troops will come after the Taliban adheres to its part of the deal.
The UNSC resolution has urged the Afghanistan Government to begin the intra-Afghan dialogue by forming a team comprising both Afghani political and civil society leaders.
US-Taliban peace deal: Key Points
• Under the terms of the US-Taliban peace deal, the Taliban has to call off all its ties with international terrorist groups and prevent them from using Afghanistan’s soil to carry out attacks against the US.
• The Taliban would also be required to participate in an Intra-Afghan dialogue to pave way for lasting peace in Afghanistan. The negotiations were scheduled to begin on Tuesday but they have been postponed due to renewed violence and political discord at the highest level of government.
• If the Taliban sticks to its promise of reducing violence and beginning a dialogue with the Afghan government, then all foreign troops will withdraw from Afghanistan within 14 months.
• The United States has already started withdrawing its troops from one military base in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province in the south and another base in Herat in the west.
Political Crisis in Afghanistan
The UNSC resolution comes as a political crisis has taken shape in Afghanistan following the double swearing-in of President Ashraf Ghani and his opponent Abdullah Abdullah on March 10. Both leaders, incumbent Ashraf Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah had claimed victory in the Presidential elections conducted in September 2019.
The US-Taliban peace deal is a result of a year of negotiations between the United States and the Taliban. A complete withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan will bring an end to America’s longest-ever war.
The Afghanistan War had begun in 2001 when the US-led NATO forces ousted the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. The Taliban was reported to have had links to Al-Qaeda, which had been responsible for the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The Taliban had managed to regroup later and become an insurgent force.