The peace deal between the US and the Taliban was sealed on Saturday. After the agreement, the US will aim to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan within 14 months. The agreement was reached in Doha, Qatar. The two sides signed the deal. Representatives of 30 countries around the world were also invited to witness this event, including India.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was welcomed by Qatar officials. He was also accompanied by US chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad. The agreement was signed in the presence of Pompeio. The Mullah fraternity is headed by the Taliban delegation.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who arrived in Doha, said that we will keep a close watch on the Taliban to see if he is able to keep his word. We will ensure that the Taliban does not become a destination for international terrorism.
India’s envoy in Qatar P Kumaran signed the USA-Taliban peace deal in Doha on behalf of India. This is the first time India has officially joined any Taliban related case. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo witnessed the signing of the agreement.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Afghanistan on Saturday to meet officials ahead of the historic deal between the US and the Taliban. NATO said in a statement that Stoltenberg will attend the Kabul media conference on Saturday evening with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. It will also be attended by US Defense Minister Mark Asper. Stoltenberg will also meet with General Scott Miller, head of US and NATO forces in the country.
Shringla handed over PM Modi’s letter to Ashraf Ghani
Foreign Secretary Harshvardhan Shringla arrived in Kabul on Friday, a day before the signing of the peace deal between the US and the Taliban and expressed India’s open support for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
He called on President Ashraf Ghani and handed him a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Shringla met with Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, elected Vice President Amarullah Saleh, National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib and Executive Foreign Minister Harun Chakhansoori and apprised them of India’s strong commitment to the all-round development of Afghanistan.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ravish Kumar said in his tweet that India stands with Afghanistan in its end of national unity, regional integrity, democracy, pluralism and its prosperity and external sponsored terrorism. Regarding Shringla’s meeting with Ghani, Kumar said that the Afghan President appreciated India’s continued support for democracy and constitutional system in Afghanistan.
Kumar said that the Foreign Secretary had a meaningful discussion with the leadership of Afghanistan on the development and peace efforts there. An agreement is to be signed between the US and the Taliban on Saturday in Doha, which will pave the way for the withdrawal of US troops after 18 years of deployment in this country.
After Shringla’s meeting with Abdullah, Ravish Kumar tweeted that both were convinced that an independent, sovereign, democratic, pluralistic and inclusive Afghanistan would promote peace and prosperity in the region. He said the Foreign Secretary expressed India’s full support in the efforts of the people of Afghanistan for sustainable peace, security and development.
India is an important party to the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. As a significant step, India sent two former diplomats in non-official capacity to the Afghan peace process in Moscow in November 2018.
The conference was organized by Russia with a high level delegation of Taliban, representatives from many other countries including Afghanistan, US, Pakistan and China. Prior to the peace deal, India has told the US that it will continue to pressurize Pakistan to shut down terrorist networks running from its land, although its cooperation is important for peace in Afghanistan.
NATO chief reached Afghanistan before historic agreement
US troops likely to return after signing peace deal
Under the agreement, it was agreed to withdraw thousands of American soldiers from Afghanistan in exchange for ending extremism between the two enemies. President Donald Trump appealed to the Afghan people to take advantage of the opportunity to weave a new future.
He said on the eve of the signing program that if the Taliban and the Afghan government were able to fulfill their commitments, then we would be able to move strongly towards ending the war in Afghanistan and bring our troops back home.
Trump said he was sending Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo to sign the treaty and that Defense Minister Mark Espar would issue a separate manifesto with the Kabul government. The agreement is expected to result in dialogue between the Kabul government and the Taliban, and if this dialogue remains meaningful, the Afghan war will eventually end.