The United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan said during a session of the Security Council that the withdrawal of international forces shook the country, calling for international pressure to negotiate, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani considered the escalation of the Taliban movement a mistake, and the US military announced the completion of half of the withdrawal process, coinciding with the Taliban’s progress on the ground.
During the special session of the UN Security Council, today, Tuesday, the UN representative said that the announcement of the withdrawal of all international forces led to a shock to the Afghan political system, adding that “the Security Council should do its utmost to push the parties towards negotiations and renounce war.” Read also The Taliban confirmed that it would attack it and consider it an occupying force.. Will Washington implement its threat and return its forces to Afghanistan? Looks and expressions | Afghanistan and the prisons of Zidane! Can Turkey convince the Taliban to keep its forces in Afghanistan?
Ghani called on the Taliban to accept what he described as the will of the people, and said, “We have to take collective decisions and move together,” noting that he is looking for partners, not leadership, and that he is not interested in power and is ready to push the elections forward.
The Afghan president considered that the escalation of violence is a mistake and that the political track “is on the table and has a place in the Doha negotiations,” stressing the seriousness of his country’s impartiality, and he called on Afghanistan’s neighbors to be assured that it will not become a land for negative competition.
Biden is scheduled to meet at the White House on Friday with President Ghani and his government’s chief negotiator in negotiations with the Taliban, Abdullah Abdullah.
In turn, Afghan Foreign Minister Muhammad Hanif Atmar said that the withdrawal of foreign forces will be completed in two weeks, saying that “it will be clear to everyone that the Taliban will not fulfill its obligations,” and called on the international community to use its influence to persuade the Taliban to fulfill its obligations.
Atmar considered that the prolonged conflict espoused by the Taliban would pose a serious threat not only to Afghanistan, but also to its neighbors in the region and the international community as a whole.
The Foreign Minister stressed the need to establish an international monitoring mechanism to verify the implementation of the Doha Peace Agreement and UN Security Council Resolution 2513, noting that a nationwide ceasefire should be a top priority for his country’s international diplomacy during the third round of peace talks in Doha.
For his part, Waheed Omar, an adviser to the Afghan president, said that a state of anxiety prevails among Afghans due to security developments in the country, stressing at the same time that government forces can control the situation.
Omar added that the war in Afghanistan could not be justified after the start of the US withdrawal, and added, “But the Taliban has escalated its operations.”
Omar also said that the Afghan government expected the Taliban to focus on negotiations rather than war, adding that the movement had not yet presented its vision for the establishment of an Islamic government.
Nasser Shedeed, Al-Jazeera correspondent in Kabul, said that the government wants the US forces to stay to help it confront the Taliban, pointing to the government and popular concern in the capital about the possibility of the movement advancing to control it.
In parallel with the US withdrawal, the Taliban has made field progress at the expense of the Afghan forces since last month.
Today, Tuesday, the Taliban took control of the Sher Khan crossing, the most prominent border crossing with Tajikistan in northern Afghanistan, which links the country with the rest of Central Asia, as well as the areas leading to Kunduz, the largest city in the northeast of the country, according to local officials.
Two members of the local council, Omar al-Din Wali and Khaled al-Din Hakami, confirmed to AFP that a “crossing” had been “captured,” 50 kilometers north of Kunduz.
In a related context, the Afghan Electricity Company reported that electricity was cut off from the capital, Kabul, and ten other districts as a result of the ongoing clashes in the eastern province of Baghlan.
The company added in a statement that hospitals and oxygen factories are now being supplied with electricity from local sources, explaining that it is working to provide electricity to subscribers in residential areas for limited hours.
For his part, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a press conference that Washington urges all Afghan parties to engage meaningfully in negotiations to reach a political settlement, and continues to support the ongoing diplomatic process in Doha.
Price stressed that the Taliban is responsible for much of the violence in Afghanistan in recent days and weeks.
The spokesman stressed that the world will not accept a government in Afghanistan based on violence, and that any government in the future should respect human rights, as he put it.
On the other hand, the US Central Command said this evening, “We have handed over 6 military facilities to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, and we expect to hand over more in the future.”
The US Central Command indicated that more than 50% of the withdrawal process from Afghanistan has been completed so far.
And yesterday, Monday, US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby held a press conference in which he talked about “flexibility of positions” in light of the military progress made by the Taliban, stressing that the withdrawal may slow if the Taliban continues to make gains on several fronts.
At the same time, Kirby stressed that “two things have not changed: first, we will complete the complete withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan except for those that will remain to protect the diplomatic presence, and second, it will be done by early September, as ordered by the commander-in-chief” of the armed forces President Joe Biden.
Kirby noted that the US military will continue to provide air support to Afghan forces, but stressed that this support will not continue until the last day of the US military presence in Afghanistan.
CNN quoted sources as saying that US national security officials will hold a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
risk of revenge
On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal said that thousands of Afghans who worked for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are at risk of retaliation by the Taliban when the US military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is completed.
The newspaper added that those who cooperated with the intelligence agency find it difficult to join the visa program designed to transport individuals to the United States who had worked for the US government abroad.
According to the newspaper, those collaborators did not sign contracts and were dealing with American supervisors who hid their real names, as obtaining a special immigrant visa requires details such as copies of contracts and certificates and the names and addresses of supervisors.