Sunday, February 25, 2024

VP Saleh: U.S ‘legitimized’ Taliban and must ‘remain engaged’

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Khaama Press
Khaama Press
Khaama Press is a Kabul-based independent and non-political news organization established in 2010.

Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh in an interview with CBS news said that as US and foreign troops leave Afghanistan, it was the United States to legitimize the Taliban in the first place.

Currently, Afghans demand the United States to “remain engaged” even if not directly involved.

Replying to a question in regards to US withdrawal Saleh said “You know the decision is what it is, It is an irreversible decision”.

According to Saleh, his “responsibility is to outline the risk, and the threats” and put them on top and see what can be done with afghan resources and with whatever the US leaves for Afghanistan.

“The days of counting on those type of extraordinary assets and air assets over the horizon is over”, Saleh said.  

Afghanistan is not pressurizing the United States to not end its military engagement in Afghanistan, they have taken a decision and that the Afghan government respects the withdrawal decision, the First Vice President explained.

He said, “I am sure they have calculated the risks, but if you ask me to remind them what is the risk – Taliban are terrorists…. Simple!”.

Asked if the First vice trusts the Taliban, the First Vice President said “No”.

To a CBS correspondent question on whether the United States hold any leverage over the Taliban itself if the Taliban wants to be legitimized in Afghanistan, Saleh said “absolutely, the united states legitimized them (Taliban)… the Doha office is a creation of the United States”.

“Getting Mullah Baradar out of the jail is an invention of the United States… allowing them to travel here and there is with the help of the United States”.

He further elaborated that the Doha agreement is surely between the United States and the Taliban, US should be held accountable.

Moreover, United States is a “superpower” unless it says “I am not”, Saleh said, “It’s a superpower” and has leverage all over and Afghanistan respects that leverage.

Afghanistan as a needy country required the United States to “remain engaged” diplomatically, economically, and strategically in Afghanistan, First Vice President Saleh said.

Whatever changes the world perceives and recognizes in Afghanistan is largely due to investments of the United States, Saleh said.

This comes as Zalmay Khalilzad US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation in an interview with Der Spiegel which was published on Monday said the Afghan people are craving for peace and that there is no better alternative than a state of tranquility.

“The Taliban spoke to the US and the European group in Berlin this week by video. They said they don’t see a military solution and say that the only option is a political one. Both sides have to be realistic about finding common ground. If there is no peace agreement, the alternative is not a Taliban victory. It is a long war,” Khalilzad said during his interview

“The violence is bad, and our goal is to help end it through a peace agreement. In a best-case scenario, there will be national reconciliation and everyone’s energies will focus on rebuilding lives and obtaining the peace dividend. But yes, things could get worse if there is no realistic agreement and the war continues – or, God forbid, that it escalates, and past mistakes are repeated. We, for our part, will do all that we can, short of getting involved again in a war, to prevent things from devolving. All Afghans have been affected by this war. Afghans living in Taliban areas have not been spared. They have been deprived of a lot. They deserve a better chance, as well as those who have benefited from the gains of the last 20 years. We’re preparing for all potential alternatives and we are very much committed to humanitarian support as well”, Khalilzad said..

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