What is the Doha agreement? Has the Taliban broken its promise?

Taliban 'receiving Russia and China's support' says Shaheen

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After Western troops withdrew, the Taliban quickly took territory across Afghanistan. With the Afghan government forces in retreat and the country’s capital Kabul under Taliban control, powers around the world are concerned. In 2020 the US and Nato allies agreed to withdraw from the country if Taliban militants agreed to certain terms – what were the terms of the Doha agreement and will the Taliban stick to them?

The US and the Taliban signed an “agreement for bringing peace” to the country in February 2020.

The US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad brokered the peace agreement between the US and Taliban leaders

The agreement which came out of these historic peace talks is known as the Doha agreement.

The agreement set out that US forces and its NATO allies would withdraw their troops from Afghanistan within 14 months.

The deal was made under former president Donald Trump.

Joe Biden has pushed ahead with the withdrawal of US troops despite the Taliban recently overthrowing the Afghan government.

As part of the Doha agreement, the militants agreed not to allow terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda to operate in the areas under their control.

The Taliban’s support of al-Qaeda – the terrorist group in charge of the 9/11 terror attacks – was a major reason behind the US’s decision to send in troops in 2001.

What are the terms of the agreement?
The US agreed to reduce its forces in Afghanistan before withdrawing them completely by September 11 2021.

Within the first 135 days of the deal, the US agreed to reduce its forces to 8,600.

Other allies and NATO agreed to reduce their forces too.

The deal also included a prisoner swap of Afghan and Taliban prisoners.

Around 5,000 Taliban prisoners and 1,000 Afghan security force prisoners were exchanged by 10 March as part of the agreement.

The US also agreed to lift sanctions against the Taliban.

Has the Taliban broken its promise?

In Doha, officials issued a statement urging an end to attacks on Afghan cities.

They “reiterated that they will not recognise any government in Afghanistan that is imposed through the use of military force.”

The Taliban has seized power by force so, under the agreement reached in Doha, they would therefore be in breach of the agreement.

But many western politicians have said they will need to work with the militants, as a Taliban controlled Afghanistan now seems inevitable.

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