Kabul (AP) – The militant Islamist Taliban view the delay in the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan as a clear violation of Washington’s agreement and have threatened countermeasures.
The US withdrawal decision on September 11 was “a clear violation of the Doha Agreement,” according to a statement released by the Taliban on Thursday. The US and all other countries were asked to leave the country “immediately” without further apologies.
The insurgents had recently threatened new violence against NATO forces if the May 1 deadline was not met. US President Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned the Taliban to expect a strong response in the event of attacks on soldiers from the US or other NATO countries during the withdrawal phase.
The US-Taliban agreement, signed under US President Donald Trump in the Gulf emirate of Qatar, provides for the withdrawal of all US and international forces by May 1. The Islamists called on the United Nations and other countries present when the agreement was signed last year to put pressure on the US to force Washington to honor its commitments.
The Taliban also accused the US of further violations of the agreement, including the delayed release of Taliban prisoners, the fact that Taliban members were still on UN blacklists, and an additional 1,200 unspecified violations. You would have fulfilled all obligations yourself.
However, in the past, the US has also accused the Taliban of not complying with the agreement. Among other things, US officials had pointed out that the level of violence was too high.
The statement went on to say that the violations of the agreement by the United States “basically open the way for the Taliban to take any necessary countermeasures.”
US President Biden announced the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan on September 11. The date marks the twentieth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that sparked the invasion of Afghanistan. NATO also announced the end of its mission in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Just hours after the official announcement of the withdrawal, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in Kabul for an unannounced visit. The Presidential Palace announced on Twitter.
Blinken told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that the US withdrawal would not weaken strategic relations between the two countries. The US continued to feel obligated to Afghanistan and its people.
Afghan television channel ToloNews showed photos of a meeting Blinking with the chairman of the Supreme Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah. “I’m here to show our continued commitment,” Blinken told Abdullah in the video.
The US and Afghanistan have a partnership that is changing, but lasting, Blinken said. “We have a new chapter, but it is a chapter that we are writing together.”