Published: Wed, January 30, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Ex-Amb. Crocker: Taliban Will Retake Afghanistan If US Leaves

Ex-Amb. Crocker: Taliban Will Retake Afghanistan If US Leaves

"We have a draft of the framework that has to be fleshed out before it becomes an agreement", America's chief negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, told the New York Times during an interview in Kabul.

The lead USA negotiator in the talks told the New York Times on Monday that the talks have resulted in the "framework" of a deal where the Taliban would guarantee that Afghan territory would not be used by terrorists.

There was not yet any agreement on the ceasefire or the troop withdrawal, according the USA special representative on Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who led the talks.

Crocker asserted "sooner or later" the Taliban will take over the Afghan government.

"For Afghans who have gone through a lot with the Taliban, who remember living in a ghost city full of zombies, and for someone like me who investigated their brutality and executions, it's hard to believe they have changed", said Nader Nadery, a close aide to President Ashraf Ghani and a former official of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.

"Our commitment is to provide peace and to prevent any possible disaster", he said.

According to the Associated Press, the president added, "There are values that are not disputable, such as national unity, national sovereignty and territorial integrity".

The statement also claims the Taliban demanded from Khalilzad the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan, but that there was no agreement on that.

There is no evidence that the Taliban will follow through, just blind trust and the empty promises of a group that brutalizes women, kills Americans, and attacks Afghan security forces.

This comes after the United States special envoy held talks with President Ashraf Ghani to brief him on progresses in the peace talks with the Taliban.

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'We should not forget that the victims of this war are Afghans and the peace process should also be Afghan-led.

"We are committed to ensuring peace", he said.

Both the Taliban and the U.S. cited "progress" over the weekend as hopes rise that the length of the negotiations could mean a deal may be in sight which paves the way for Afghan talks.

The Taliban also cited progress, though spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said reports of an 18-month withdrawal plan and a ceasefire are "not true".

Khalilzad said that the talks in Qatar have been "more productive than they have been in the past", referencing years of without any progress between the USA and the Taliban.

Trump has said he wants to pull out half the remaining 14,000 American troops, according to U.S. officials. No Afghan wants foreign troops to remain in their country indefinitely.

Li added that the United States might not pull out all its troops from Afghanistan, and could instead keep a limited military presence there, such as a drone fleet, to help stabilise the volatile situation. Many Americans will applaud this "progress" as one step closer to bringing the 14,000 American troops now deployed in Afghanistan home.

"If they come back", she said with a grimace, "we wouldn't be able to walk outside at all". We made significant progress on vital issue [which] Will build on the momentum and resume talks shortly.

Even if the US and Taliban can agree a way to bring the militants to the table with Kabul, any specifics will be the subject of "thorny negotiations, in a long battle of wills among more stakeholders than the Taliban and the US", Osman warned.

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