Talking to Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, deputy head of Taliban’s political office in Qatar and the head of Taliban’s negotiating team with the US, has said that the group wants Japan, among other European and Asian guarantors, to serve as a guarantor to make sure the US will withdraw its forces from Afghanistan after a deal reached between the Taliban and the United States.
“According to the draft which we are going to agree (on, the) draft … and agreement will be signed, and announced in front of the guarantors. I hope most famous Asian and European countries will be guarantors. That will be decided by all sides. (Though) not decided yet, Japan is (an) important country, Japan may be there (as a) candidate,” Stanekzai said as quoted by Mainichi Shimbun.
Talking to reporters in Doha on July 10, Stanekzai said that disagreements between the two sides have ended and a draft agreement will be signed in the near future.
“We do not have any disagreement with Americans,” Stanekzai said. “Only there is the draft [agreement] which needs to be finalized. When it is finalized, we will share it with media,” said Stanekzai.
Critics said that Afghans expect a responsible withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.
“Foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan will take three to four years,” Dawar Naderi, head of Afghanistan Institute of Peace, told TOLOnews on Friday, July 12. “It means they [Taliban] do not want the [presidential] elections to happen during this period.”
The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation said Thursday that America is not “cutting and running” from its longest war and that women will continue to have seats in peace talks to end nearly 18 years of fighting.
Khalilzad addressed an audience in Washington on a video link from Qatar where the two-day intra-Afghan conference concluded on July 8 with a resolution that offered a roadmap for the country’s future.
This comes as representatives of China, Russia, and the United States held their third consultation on the Afghan peace process in Beijing late last week where they agreed on key issues including an immediate start of the intra-Afghan negotiations which will also involve the Afghan government and the Taliban.