Taliban ‘open letter’ urges US to honour Doha agreement

Letter published a day before a meeting between NATO ministers to discuss troops’ presence in Afghanistan.

Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. envoy Afghanistan
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the leader of the Taliban delegation, and Zalmay Khalilzad, US envoy for peace in Afghanistan, shake hands after signing an agreement at a ceremony in Doha [File: Ibraheem al-Omari/Reuters]

The Taliban has published an open letter calling on the United States to honour the Doha agreement regarding the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan.

The letter was published on Tuesday, a day before a meeting between the NATO defence ministers to discuss the situation of the alliance’s forces deployed in the country.

The Taliban called on the US to fully implement the Doha accords, including the withdrawal of all international troops and personnel, saying it had committed to its side of the deal.

“Now that a year has passed since the signing of the Doha agreement, we urge the American side to remain committed to the full implementation of this accord,” read the statement.

The letter, signed by the Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, warned that the group would not allow anyone to interfere in Afghanistan’s affairs.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan does not interfere in the internal affairs of others, neither does it want to harm others, nor will it allow anyone else to interfere in our own affairs. Defending our land and people is our legitimate right,” the letter concluded.

In the Doha agreement, the Taliban committed to peace talks with the Afghan government and to significantly reduce violence.

In return, the US pledged to withdraw all international troops by April this year.

However, violent conflict has continued in Afghanistan.

The new US administration under President Joe Biden is reviewing the agreement signed with the Taliban in February 2020, which was aimed at ending the longest war in American history.

On Monday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would not leave Afghanistan before the “time is right”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies