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Friday Mar 26 2021
By
Reuters

Taliban warn will resume hostilities against foreign troops if US cannot keep withdrawal commitment

By
Reuters
Suhail Shaheen, a member of Taliban's negotiation team, speaks during a joint news conference in Moscow, Russia March 19, 2021. — Reuters/File

  • The Taliban warning followed comments by US President Joe Biden.
  • Biden said it would be hard to withdraw the last US troops by the May 1 deadline.
  • US last year agreed all foreign troops would be withdrawn in exchange for security guarantees from the Taliban.


KABUL: The Afghan Taliban on Friday warned it would resume hostilities against foreign troops in the country if they fail to meet the May 1 deadline to withdraw forces.

The Taliban warning followed comments by US President Joe Biden, who on Thursday said it would be hard to withdraw the last US troops by the deadline, which was agreed with Washington last year.

Also on Thursday, Germany's lawmakers approved a mandate to allow its troops to stay in Afghanistan until Jan 31, 2022.

If the May 1 deadline was not met, the Taliban would be "compelled to... continue its armed struggle against foreign forces to liberate its country", they said in a statement.

The United States and the Taliban last year agreed that all foreign troops would be withdrawn in exchange for security guarantees from the group and the start of peace talks with the Afghan government.

Since then, attacks on foreign troops in Afghanistan have largely ceased.

The Taliban said it was committed to the agreement, which it termed the "most sensible and shortest path" to end 20 years of war in Afghanistan — America's longest foreign conflict.

Responsibility for its prolongation "will be on the shoulders of those who committed this violation," the statement said.