We're Live Bangla Friday, March 05, 2021

Afghan officials optimistic about ties with Biden administration


Following the US national security adviser’s phone call with Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib, hope has emerged among Afghan officials that Kabul’s ties with Washington will strengthen and more accurate information about the peace process--from the US side--will become available from the Biden administration. 

Afghan officials said the former US administration did not share organized information about the peace process with the Afghan government. 

“Previously, their (US’s) national security institutions did not have strong relations with us, but now we think that government-to-government and institution-to-institution relations will improve,” National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib said. 

The United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Friday spoke with Mohib regarding the US commitment to the US-Afghan partnership and to peace for all the people of Afghanistan, according to a statement by the US National Security Council. 

Sullivan underscored that the US will support the peace process with a robust and regional diplomatic effort, which will aim to help the two sides achieve a durable and just political settlement and permanent ceasefire.  

Sullivan also made clear the US's intention to review the February 2020 US-Taliban agreement, including to assess whether the Taliban was living up to its commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders, the statement said.  

“They (Taliban) continue the violence. They don’t have a commitment to peace and they have maintained their ties with international terrorists,” Mohib said. 

Sources close to the Taliban said that there will be no change in the US-Taliban agreement signed last year in February. 

“Such an attempt won't be considered. The stopping of Taliban movement against US and NATO interest is in favor of the US and NATO. The cutting of ties of the Taliban with al-Qaeda is in favor of NATO and US,” said Jalaluddin Shinwari, attorney general during Taliban regime in Kabul. 

NDS chief Ahmad Zia Saraj meanwhile blamed the Taliban for wasting time in the peace negotiation delays.  

“They have no interest in peace and they are always trying to make excuses and waste time,” Saraj said. 

This comes as the peace negotiators from the Afghan republic and the Taliban have not held any meetings over the last 12 days. The republic team has blamed the Taliban for not attending meetings to finalize the agenda for the talks. The Taliban has not commented on the remarks.