• publish: 10 March 2020
  • time: 8:56 am
  • category: Excerpted
  • No: 12695
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US calls for a UN vote on Taliban deal

Trump administration seeks Security Council endorsement on deal as rival Afghan leaders claim presidency in Kabul.

The United States has called for a Tuesday vote at the UN Security Council to endorse Washington’s deal with the Taliban that is supposed to pave the way to peace in Afghanistan, diplomats said.

The US military has begun withdrawing troops as part of the pullout agreed in the February 29 agreement with the Taliban.

The request for a UN vote came after negotiations on a draft resolution, diplomats said on Monday.

The deal signed in Qatar is aimed at ending the US’s longest war, fought in Afghanistan since 2001.

The agreement seeks the withdrawal of all US and NATO troops from Afghanistan in 14 months.

It also secured a Taliban guarantee that Afghanistan would not be used as a launching pad for activities that would threaten the security of the US in the future.

Intra-Afghan negotiations are also set to begin by Tuesday to work out a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.

About 14,000 US troops and approximately 17,000 troops from 39 NATO allies and partner countries are stationed in Afghanistan in a non-combatant role.

The US-Taliban talks were launched in 2018 as part of a push by US President Donald Trump’s administration to strike a deal with the armed group, which has been fighting the US-led forces in Afghanistan since being toppled from power in 2001.

The agreement also proposes an intra-Afghan dialogue with the government in Kabul and the release of 5,000 Taliban members from prison – although that part of the deal remains in contention.

The Taliban has so far refused to speak to the Western-backed Afghan government, saying it is a “puppet regime”.

The intra-Afghan talks are to begin on March 10 but no specific details have been given.

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