The former U.S. ambassador to the United States says Biden should pursue “normal” conditions, defend the peace deal he has negotiated, and criticize Ghani for failing.
Former United States ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has called on the Biden government to work with the Taliban to help resolve the country’s crisis.
Khalilzad, who negotiated to leave the US with the Taliban after 20 years of war, on Wednesday defended the alliance with the Taliban leadership while blaming former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for the failure of peace talks and the fall of Kabul.
Allowing the new Taliban government to split in Kabul could lead to “a major humanitarian crisis” and trigger the migration of millions of Afghans, disrupt the region and “create a terrorist zone”, a former US ambassador warned.
The Taliban want a “normal relationship” with the US and wants the US to reopen its ambassador to Kabul, remove economic sanctions and provide financial assistance, he said.
“We need to be with them in order to embrace the process that takes into account the mistrust, or distrust of their actions (in the natural way) that we expect to happen … which we would take,” Khalilzad said.
Khalilzad’s comments came in an interview with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based tank that focuses on geopolitics.
Khalilzad was a prominent figure in Washington in negotiating with the Taliban to withdraw from the US war and in negotiating peace talks with the white supremacist government in Kabul. These attempts were thwarted by the Taliban militants ignoring the Western and Afghan government’s demands for an end to the war and the defeat of Afghan troops and police.
The US and NATO allies sent thousands of troops back to Kabul briefly in August to board more than 120,000 civilian aircraft, residents and Afghanistan who supported their missions. Thousands more were released, and reports of Taliban assassinations have been released.
“The Taliban have changed in some ways and are similar in other ways,” Khalilzad said. “They have kept the treaty and will not allow themselves to be manipulated by terrorists against the United States.”
The US “suspicion” of the Taliban is justified but should lead to a “search for” opportunities to negotiate with them and not “paralysis”, he said.
Khalilzad blamed former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for the “inefficiency” of US-backed Afghan forces and criticized former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for believing he could defeat the non-US Taliban and failing to comply with Taliban demands. step down.
“We were all shocked by President Ghani’s disobedience to his insistence that he remain in office,” Khalilzad said.
“Ghani’s biggest mistake was that he didn’t think we wanted to quit, that we couldn’t leave,” he said.
Khalilzad defended in particular the adherence of the Taliban leadership in its agreements with the US, saying it had fulfilled its promise not to allow a safe haven for groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS). The two groups are still present in Afghanistan.
The Taliban have refused to assassinate US troops after the agreement was signed in February 2020 through withdrawal – a serious commitment, he said.
Khalilzad resigned from his post as US special envoy to Afghanistan on October 15. coming under criticism due to the failure of peace talks and was replaced by his deputy, Deputy Secretary-General Tom West.
Asked by Carnegie interviewer Aaron David Miller if he had committed any wrongdoing that, if corrected, could have changed the outcome of the incident, Khalilzad said he would “consider it”.
Taliban officials and US envoys participated first in-person meetings since the departure of US troops and the Taliban came to power in Doha earlier this month. Khalilzad did not participate in the discussions.
Mullah Amir Khan Muttaqi, Afghanistan’s foreign minister, said the aim of the Taliban envoys in Doha was to help the people and move the US to change. turn off in the Central Bank of Afghanistan monetary reserves. He also said that the US will provide a vaccine against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Biden officials say the US will save money as well as the economy penalties on the Taliban as they seek ways to provide assistance to the people of Afghanistan.