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Taliban And U.S. To Possibly Sign Peace Deal By The End Of February

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Taliban And U.S. To Possibly Sign Peace Deal By The End Of February

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The US and Taliban are to likely sign a peace deal by the end of February 2020, Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi, a senior Taliban leader said in a video, shared with journalists.

He said that “both sides have initiated the final draft of the peace agreement. Now talks are concluded.”

“Both sides have agreed to sign the agreement by the end of this month” after making a “favorable environment before signing of the agreement,” Hanafi reportedly said.

In his first public comments since the peace talks breakthrough, U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, the chief negotiator with the Taliban, said he’s “cautiously optimistic.”

“But I am realistic enough to know that there are lots of challenges ahead,” he added.

He said that he had received agreement from both the Afghan government, and the Taliban, but nothing was set in stone.

“I believe that, maybe better than any time in the last couple of decades, there is an opportunity for peace,” he claimed.

Hanafi also mentioned talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, but he said such a step would be taken only after a mass prisoner exchange.

“When the process of releasing of 5,000 [Taliban] prisoners . . . is completed, then intra-Afghan talks will begin,” he said.

The favorable environment is likely the 7-day reduction in violence that the US announced was agreed on February 13th.

When exactly the 7-day- reduction in violence will take place is unclear.

“We’ve said all along that the best, if not the only, solution in Afghanistan is a political agreement. Progress has been made on that front and we’ll have more to report on that soon, I hope,” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters in Brussels on, dubbing his meetings with NATO colleagues “productive”.

Esper said if the process goes forward there would be continuous evaluation of any violence.

“It is our view that seven days, for now, is sufficient but in all things, our approach to this process will be conditions-based, I will say it again, conditions-based,” he said.

Trump also said that a peace agreement was “very close.”

“I think we’re very close,” Trump said on a podcast broadcast on iHeart Radio when asked if a tentative deal had been reached. “I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have a deal … We’re going to know over the next two weeks.”

Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the talks had achieved “a pretty important breakthrough”.

Currently the situation in Afghanistan is relatively calm, with most recently an ISIS attack allegedly taking place against the Taliban.

Separately, two US soldiers were killed by a member of the Afghan Security Forces in what is presumed to be an insider attack.

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Ross

If the Taliban leadership are smart, they will allow the US to retreat claiming victory. Any bragging or crowing about beating the enemy invaders will make such a move much more difficult politically, and whether we like it or not, US public perception is a political reality which has to be taken into account. Let them go with their tail up rather than between their legs, because the bottom line is they go, and some sort of normality can hopefuly begin to return.
The big question of course, is what about the heroin? The CIA will not want to gve up such a lucrative source of black money, are the Taliban simply demanding a cut (no pun intended)? Or is that too cynical a view?

klove and light

all bs as usual…..

yeah yeah.. the USA will retreat…the plan sees a retreat of Forces till 2025 and keeping “a small ” number of troops as “counclers” and “Trainers”………. same as in iraq… all bs…. the USA will stay in both countries till they are FORCED out!

Phoron

The CIA giving up what little they make in the saturated opioid market is peanuts compared to what major “defence” contractors and suppliers stand to lose.

Moreover, leaving Afghanistan would mean abandoning one more front in the grand plan of surrounding Russia.

In fact, the second point is probably more salient. Some things, like control, are more important than currency.

goingbrokes

Us will not negotiate with enemies unless it is forced to. So what is forcing US to negotiate with Taliban? If the Iranians manage to make a working relationship with Taliban the US days in Afghanistan are numbered very small indeed. The only way to stop this from happening is to offer something to the Taliban, and start negotiating. It is an inherently weak position and I am wondering what can they offer to Taliban. I imagine it is something to do with destroying ISIS in Afghanistan (a CIA front of course) which would simplify things for Taliban and allow them to control a larger slice of the countryside.
This should calm things down for a while, but will not change the overall course of US having to decamp in the long run.
CIA drug money: they have enjoyed the huge black cash bonanza, but realistically they have to shift the production to another country under their sway. Not a big deal really, just a temporary complication.

ButtonPlay

what has the taliban to gain from this? i understand that they are not so much al qaida affiliated anymore as in the past and they have issues with isis setting footholds in afghanistan but the brand of taliban islam looks radical enough that they wouldnt accept anything less than total control over the country, what does the afghan government expect? and are the americans content with the taliban doctrine as long as they dont harbour international terrorists?

verner

never thought the talibans would fold and give the disunited states of A even a little finger – I thought the talibans would give the disunited states of A the big finger and ask them to sod off.

Traiano Welcome

Fake news. Trump trying to whip up political support for the oncoming elections.

Phoron

That’s pretty likely.

goingbrokes

Not likely. Trumps popularity has soared after the failed impeachment attempt. If Trump did nothing at all he’d almost certainly win, as dems are scoring own goals all the time. To create a fake news event could easily backfire and would risk a certain win.
But it could still be fake news, but not for the reasons you mention. It could be some kind of prelude to escalation. But most likely it is trying to calm things down and prevent Taliban falling in line with the Iranians, which would be catastrophic for US presence in Afghanistan, as evidenced by the downed CIA plane.

frankly

Perhaps the implications of the recent airplane downing will provide an extra element of motivation. If our spy planes aren’t safe, what is? Hard to imagine F.uk.us providing anything but humiliation to a vanquished foe. What have they done to deserve a face saving exit? Support an endless stream of Wahhabi terrorists.

It seems the only viable strategy is to keep naming the behavior in an honest way. Stealing oil is stealing. Starving Yemen kids is genocidal. Being dishonest to make money is not legal because you get away with it.

Guarding a seemingly endless supply of opium that magically finds it’s way to market is, while profitable, a very clear reminder of the need to study the opium wars and contemplate just how evil any one using this particular chemical weapon truly is.

World_Eye

Taliban DON’T DO DEALS WITH THE DEVIL!

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