Afghan government, Taliban go back to peace talks as U.S. troop withdrawal looms

by Laura Mize · Jan 5th, 2021 4:06 pm

Last Updated Jan 6th, 2021 at 3:49 pm

The government of Afghanistan and the Taliban picked up peace talks Tuesday after the two sides took a break in December.

The formal negotiations began in September 2020, seven months after the United States and the Taliban reached a peace deal in February. But the peace has been tenuous, with violent attacks continuing to rock Afghanistan. The United States and Afghanistan blame the Taliban, although the insurgent group denies involvement.

In November, the Trump administration announced it would withdraw more than 2,000 troops from Afghanistan, bringing the total left to 2,500. The remaining troops are to leave by May, according to the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban.

American cooperation and troop presence in the country is a hot-button issue for Afghanistan and the Taliban. At least one Afghan negotiator sees U.S. involvement as critical to the peace process.

"The success of the talks also depends on future engagement from the U.S. on this issue," said Nader Nadery, a negotiator and spokesperson for the Afghan government.

🔦 Former Vice President Joe Biden has said that he is in favor of keeping a small anti-terrorism group in the country.


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