US engaged in Afghan peace process since its already facing humiliating defeat: Taliban

KabulUnited States is primarily concerned with legitimising its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan so that it does not look like a humiliating defeat, which is why it is trying to secure support of its traditional rival, Russia, and regional powers during negotiations on the Afghan peace process, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

On Thursday, United States, Russia and China held trilateral consultations on Afghanistan in Moscow. In their joint statement issued after the talks, the sides called for an “inclusive Afghan-led” peace process, agreed on an “orderly and responsible” pullout of foreign troops from the crisis-hit country and took note of Taliban’s commitment to cut ties with terrorist and extremist groups. They also expressed readiness “to build a more extensive regional and international consensus” on Afghanistan.

“The United States is meeting Russia and other representatives of regional countries to make legitimacy for withdrawal and so it will not be named defeat. But it has already been defeated in Afghanistan,” Mujahid said.

Taliban spokesman further suggested that Washington wanted to show the world that it had agreed with regional powers on the withdrawal of its consultants. He stressed that Taliban had assured the United States that it would not pose any threat to the US personnel during their withdrawal, Sputnik reported.

Meanwhile, a Taliban commander said that the regional countries had no trust in the United States with regard to the peace process, and Washington was, therefore, trying to assure the regional countries that it was “honest” in its efforts.

“If the United States is really looking for the end of the war, it should have done much better work in Afghanistan so that the regional countries would believe it,” the commander said on the condition of anonymity.

The Taliban movement has also held several rounds of talks with the US delegation, led by the US special representative for the Afghan peace process, Zalmay Khalilzad, in Qatar. While Khalilzad has stated that the sides have agreed on a ceasefire in Afghanistan, Taliban has dismissed the claim.

Taliban and the US delegation are expected to hold a new round of talks in Qatar, although the date is not known yet. Taliban has said that the upcoming talks will be focused on the timeline of troop withdrawal.

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