An interview with FRANCE 24, Amrullah Saleh, the first vice president of Afghanistan, said that the Taliban had breached their commitments under the landmark deal agreed with the US last year.
He also welcomed the decision of the Biden administration to review US policy on Afghanistan with “wide eyes and open ears”.
Vice President Saleh pointed out that a recent Congressionally mandated report had advocated delaying the full withdrawal of US troops after the May 1 deadline set under last year’s US-Taliban deal.
He stressed that any further troop withdrawal should be based on conditions on the ground.
VP Saleh said that the Taliban had breached their commitments under the deal, pointing to a spate of recent attacks and especially to intelligence showing they had not severed their ties to al Qaeda. He said the Taliban have not stopped fighting at all, adding that Taliban prisoners freed by the Afghan government as part of the US-brokered deal had in fact resumed fighting instead of going back to their homes.
Despite his strong criticism of the Taliban, VP Saleh said dialogue with them should still be the preferred option. Although he blamed the Taliban for interruptions to talks with the Afghan government over the last three weeks, he said his side remained committed to finding a “negotiated settlement”.