Sunday Jan 24 2021

Biden administration to review US-Taliban peace agreement

A Reuters file image of Joe Biden.

  • Biden administration to review US-Taliban peace deal
  • US to assess whether Taliban is living up to its commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups
  • Number of US troops reduced to 2,500 in Afghanistan

The Joe Biden administration will review the peace agreement reached between the United States and Afghan Taliban in 2020, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told him Afghan counterpart in a phone call on Friday. 

According to a White House statement, Sullivan made clear the United States’ intention to review the February 2020 agreement "including to assess whether the Taliban was living up to its commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders".

He stressed that the new administration "will support the peace process with a robust and regional diplomatic effort, which will aim to help the two sides achieve a durable and just political settlement and permanent ceasefire". 

Related: Joe Biden takes office, reverses Trump era’s Muslim ban

Sullivan expressed the Biden administration's "desire" that the Afghan leaders will embrace the "historic" opportunity for peace and stability and discussed the US's support for protecting extraordinary gains made by Afghan women, girls, and minority groups as part of the peace process. 

The statement said that the new national security advisor "committed to consulting closely with the Government of Afghanistan, NATO allies, and regional partners regarding a collective strategy to support a stable, sovereign, and secure future for Afghanistan".

The US-Taliban agreement

Brokered by the Pakistani government, the United States and Taliban signed a peace deal that states the American forces will leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counter-terrorism guarantees. 

The first week of January saw the number of US troops in Afghanistan reduce to 2,500 - the lowest since 2001. But violence levels in Afghanistan have surged, hastening international calls for a ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban.