• publish: 23 February 2021
  • time: 11:09 am
  • category: Politics
  • No: 17039

Taliban strongly oppose troop withdrawal postponement

The Taliban have strongly rejected a postponement of a troops withdrawal from Afghanistan and said their “fighters will never agree” to this.

In an interview with Germany’s dpa, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said: “Our fighters will never agree to an extension.”

“NATO, America and all sides have come to the conclusion that if they want to overcome the current crisis, the only good solution is the implementation of the agreement signed,” he added.

“If, God forbid, the agreement is violated, then of course the people of Afghanistan will defend themselves … as they have done for the past 20 years.”

But he said any decision would only come in May, if international troops were still in the country at that point.

“If the diplomatic path is closed, then there is no way except that of war,” he said.

This comes after both the US and NATO have said no final decision has been made on the withdrawal of the remaining troops in Afghanistan.

According to an agreement signed by the US and the Taliban in February last year, the deadline for the withdrawal of the remaining troops is May 1.

However, within days of his inauguration, US President Joe Biden called for a review of the deal signed by the Trump administration.

As part of the agreement, the Taliban had to reduce their levels of violence and cut all ties with terrorist groups including al-Qaeda.

These two commitments have not been met, which has led to speculation that troops will not be withdrawn by the May 1 deadline and an extension will instead be imposed.

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