U.S.-Taliban Deal Comes Under Pressure Amid Military Action
After a resurgence of violence and diplomatic tension between Washington and Kabul, the Trump administration is facing problems trying to uphold a landmark agreement with the Taliban. President Ashraf Ghani, on Wednesday, declined to meet with Trump’s special envoy that arrived in Kabul in an attempt to salvage an agreement. The agreement called for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by next fall, according to Afghan government officials. The envoy is expected to meet with Afghanistan’s vice president instead.
Mr. Ghani and US President Trump have been experiencing increasing tensions in recent months after the US refused to recognize his re-election after a disputed presidential contest against Abdullah Abdullah, Ghani’s rival, last year. On the other hand, Afghanistan has refused to cooperate with the US on its pledge to the Taliban that requires the release of over 5,000 insurgents held by the Afghan government. Talks are expected to start Tuesday, however, there will likely be a delay due to controversy over the deal which requires a prisoner release before talks. Wednesday marked the US’s first attacks against Taliban forces since the US signed a deal with the militant group.