Pentagon questions Taliban commitment to peace agreement

Pentagon questions Taliban commitment to peace agreement

Washington stresses that the way forward depends on whether the Taliban will honor their commitments

The Joe Biden administration believes that a path to resolving the conflict with the Taliban is hard to imagine if the group does not honor its commitments under last year’s agreement, the Pentagon said.

The Afghan Human Rights Commission said more than 2,900 people died in the country’s conflict last year despite intensified diplomatic efforts, including peace talks in Qatar.

“If they do not honor their commitments to renounce terrorism and stop brutal attacks against Afghanistan’s armed forces … it’s very difficult to see a concrete path forward for a negotiated settlement, but we remain committed to that goal,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

The February 2020 agreement with the Taliban calls for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops by May 2021 in exchange for security guarantees from the Taliban.

U.S. officials and diplomats say the Taliban, especially its Haqqani unit, continue to maintain close ties with al-Qaida.

“So far, the Taliban, to put it mildly, have been slow to honor their commitments,” Kirby added.