The Afghan Ministry of Defense announced that it had regained control of the headquarters of the Bangui and Khawaja Ghar districts in the northeastern province of Takhar, one day after Taliban militants took control of them after violent clashes and battles with government forces.
Al-Jazeera correspondent in Kabul also reported, quoting security sources, that 5 people were killed and 4 wounded as a result of the detonation of an explosive device planted on the side of the road in Paktia province, southeastern Afghanistan. Read also Can Turkey convince the Taliban to keep its forces in Afghanistan? Beyond the news – How realistic is the American threat to return to Afghanistan? Why does violence continue in Afghanistan despite the withdrawal of US forces?
The level of violence in Afghanistan has escalated since the beginning of last May, with the start of the final stage of the withdrawal of US forces by order of President Joe Biden last April, which is scheduled to be completed by next September 11.
As violence escalated and peace talks continued to falter, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani two days ago replaced the defense and interior ministers charged with managing the country’s deteriorating security file.
During the past weeks, Taliban militants took control of dozens of districts in Afghanistan after battles with government forces, at a time when there is talk of the need to complete the stalled peace negotiations between the movement and the Afghan government.
On the other hand, the White House announced that President Joe Biden will receive on the 25th of this month Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman of the National Reconciliation Committee in Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah, to highlight the permanent partnership between the United States and Afghanistan, in light of the continued US withdrawal.
The White House added in a statement on Sunday that the United States is committed to supporting the Afghan people by providing diplomatic, economic, and humanitarian assistance.
The statement also indicated that Washington will continue to work closely with the Afghan government to ensure that the country does not once again become a safe haven for terrorist groups.
The US statement indicated that the United States will continue to fully support the ongoing peace process, and encourages all Afghan parties to participate meaningfully in negotiations to end the conflict.
Since Biden announced the start of the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, the pace of withdrawal operations has accelerated, as the rate of implementation exceeded 50%, amid talk that the completion of the withdrawal may be delayed until after next September, which Washington has not officially confirmed.
In a related context, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said – in his speech at the end of the Antalya Forum (southern Turkey) – yesterday that Ankara will continue to assume its responsibilities in protecting Kabul Airport, but he pointed out that it cannot do this alone, but rather needs the help of the Afghans. and other countries.
Cavusoglu’s speech came in the wake of a tripartite meeting of the foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan held on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomatic Forum. According to Turkish diplomatic sources, the three ministers discussed the Afghan peace process, and the role of Tehran and Ankara in the post-US withdrawal from Afghanistan. https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.467.0_en.html#goog_455603568
The Turkish Foreign Minister said that the meeting also discussed several files such as combating terrorism, smuggling and immigration and the opportunities available within the framework of cooperation between the three countries to help Afghanistan in the fields of transportation, health and energy.
The survival of Turkish forces represents a dilemma on the Afghan scene, especially with the Taliban declaring their rejection of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) decision to keep its forces to secure Kabul International Airport after the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country.
Reassurance for diplomatic missions
The head of the political office of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, said that Afghanistan is witnessing the withdrawal of all foreign forces, so the Afghans must work to establish a system that achieves security and prosperity for the people.
Barader added – in an article on Sunday – that the Taliban movement reassures the international community that foreign diplomats and employees of institutions will not face any threat from it, and announced that the movement welcomes all efforts that help eliminate the problems of Afghanistan, calling on the international community to let the Afghans determine the fate of their country. themselves.
Regarding the Doha agreement between the United States and the Taliban, Barader said that it created new opportunities for peace, and that it represents the only chance for stability in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has been suffering a war since 2001, when an international military coalition led by Washington overthrew the Taliban regime on the pretext of its association at the time with Al-Qaeda, which adopted the September 11 attacks of the same year in the United States.