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US Airstrikes Violate Doha Agreement, May Prompt Taliban Reaction, Spokesman Says

Sputnik News

11:14 GMT 12.01.2021

KABUL, January 12 (Sputnik) - The United States should work to ensure that airstrikes conducted in Afghanistan are done so in a controlled manner to avoid violating the February peace deal reached with the Taliban, also known as the Doha agreement, Taliban* spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Sputnik in an interview.

"We have made it clear to them and we are still saying that if the operation continues in violation and in an intentional manner, of course, we will be forced to react, and this is a provocative act," Mujahid stated.

Since the deal was signed, the Taliban on multiple occasions has accused the US of violating the Doha peace accord. Back in December, the insurgent organisation claimed that US airstrikes in Kandahar province caused the deaths of 12 civilians, and Mujahid said that the Taliban have made their demands clear to their US counterparts.

"We have seriously told them that they should control the bombings," the Taliban spokesman said.

In this Sept. 12, 2020, file photo, Taliban negotiator Abbas Stanikzai, center front, and his delegation attend the opening session of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, in Doha, Qatar. Afghanistan's Taliban on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, welcomed a tweet from President Donald Trump in which he promised to have the last of the U.S.'s troops out of Afghanistan by Christmas. If that withdrawal happens, it would be months ahead of schedule and the tweet made no reference to a Taliban promise to fight terrorist groups — a previous pre-requisite for an American withdrawal.

The insurgent organisation stands ready to hold consultations with Washington to discuss the US military operation in Afghanistan, Mujahid added.

"We have a channel to start serious discussions with the Americans on this matter," the Taliban spokesman said.

At the same time, he reiterated the group's commitment to the accord with Washington.

"The Doha agreement is a reasonable agreement to resolve the war, it must be implemented. The next US government needs to implement it and the war must end. In any case, we are committed, there is no problem on our part", Mujahid said.

According to Mujahid, the Taliban will continue to monitor the implementation of the agreement, which he said was in the interests of both sides.

"We will continue to monitor the implementation of this agreement, our efforts will be to make this agreement fully implemented. This agreement is in the interests of both the United States and the Afghan people", the Taliban spokesman said.

He also noted that the upcoming inauguration of Joe Biden as US President is unlikely to result in the United States' withdrawal from the Doha peace agreement.

"This is the will of the American people and it does not belong to an election team because those who have debated and reached the agreement with us were the American strategists, members of key US institutions", the Taliban spokesman stressed.

Afghan security forces arrive after a powerful explosion outside the provincial police headquarters in Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, July 18, 2019.

The United States and the Taliban signed a peace deal on 29 February 2020 in the Qatari capital that paved the way for the beginning of intra-Afghan talks this past September upon the conclusion of a prisoner exchange process. The deal also established the framework for the gradual withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan should the Taliban deliver on security guarantees.

However, both sides have accused one another of failing to abide by the terms of the deal. American officials have demanded the Taliban work to stop violence in Afghanistan at the same time as the radical movement has slammed US airstrikes that have resulted in civilian casualties.

*Taliban is a radical movement, banned in Russia

© Sputnik

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