Khalilzad: United States Will Vacate Five Military Bases in Afghanistan

  • Zalmay Khalilzad shared a draft peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban with the Afghan president.
  • Khalilzad said the United States would withdraw 5,000 troops from Afghanistan’s five military bases in the first 135 days after signing a peace deal with the Taliban.
  • There are currently 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan who are fighting the longest war in US history.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan, says the US military will vacate five military bases in the first phase in the event of a peace deal with the Taliban. Khalilzad will arrive in Doha after the end of the ninth round of talks with the Taliban.

According to correspondent Khudai Noor Nasir, Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on September 1, where he held two meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Monday night. Khalilzad shared a draft peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban with the Ghani, Wahid Sediqi, the Afghan president’s spokesman in Kabul, said at a press conference on Monday. According to the spokesman, the Afghan president will inform US officials of their position after consultation on the draft.

TOLOnews is Afghanistan’s first 24/7 news channel, launched in 2010. TOLOnews broadcasts in Dari and Pashto, and is available via the internet and social media in English, Dari and Pashto.

According to sources in Kabul, Khalilzad also met with the chief executive of Afghanistan, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. After meeting with Afghan officials, Khalilzad would reach Islamabad, where he would also inform the Pakistani authorities about the draft of the peace agreement.

In an interview to a local TV channel TOLOnews in Kabul, Khalilzad said the United States would withdraw 5,000 troops from Afghanistan’s five military bases in the first 135 days after signing a peace deal with the Taliban.

However, according to him, the draft of the peace agreement will only be implemented when President Trump ratifies it. “On paper, we and the Taliban have agreed to a peace treaty, but that agreement will be implemented when the US president agrees.”

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also said that about 5,000 US troops would be vacated under the interim agreement.

There are currently 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan, who are fighting the longest war in US history. US President Donald Trump last week said that even after a peace deal with the Taliban, 8,600 US troops will remain in Afghanistan.

According to Khalilzad, the date and place for inter-Afghan talks will be announced in the next few days after the US President’s endorsement. According to him, in these areas where the US forces will come out, there will be an increase in peace.

However, he said it was not intended to be a ceasefire because the ceasefire would be discussed in international negotiations.

According to the special representative of the United States, there is a ‘red line’ in the negotiations with the Taliban. The United States will never want any system in the name of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan, and no one is allowed to do so.  After the Taliban era in Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban still write the name of their organization “Islamic Emirate.”

According to Khalilzad, he too used the word “Islamic Emirate” in negotiations with the Taliban, but said that the United States recognizes the democratic government of Afghanistan and considers the Taliban as a group.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was a state of limited international recognition and the name given to Taliban rule over the country. Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates recognized the Taliban government, which lasted from the fall of Kabul in 1996 to the U.S.-led invasion of 2001.

It should be remembered that on August 22, the ninth round of talks between the United States and the Taliban began in Doha, which continued until September 1, at the delegation-level.

On the other hand, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing in Kabul on Monday evening, according to Reuters news agency. The attack left five dead and dozens injured.

It is clear that the attack occurred at a time when Khalilzad had arrived and met with the Afghan President to discuss the key points of the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban.

Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said the attack killed five people and injured 50 others.

The attack was carried out near the “Green Valley” compound in Kabul’s high-security and sensitive area. Representatives and officials of international organizations reside in the area.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.


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