The American special envoy to Afghanistan is in talks with the Taliban and the Afghan government, with hopes of reaching a peace deal before the Afghan presidential election next April. The United States has been at war in Afghanistan since 2001 after the September 11 attacks and is leading direct talks with senior Taliban members to end the war in a way which appeases both sides. In their demands for a peace treaty, Taliban leaders included the release of senior Taliban members from prison as well as the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. representative leading talks with the Taliban says that he remains “cautiously optimistic” about reaching a fair and effective peace deal between the Taliban, the Afghan government, and the United States government. A deal would mark the end of the 17-year war and result in increased stability in the Middle East.
It is critical that a deal be reached before the upcoming election because a new regime being elected could disrupt any prior negotiations. Due to the strained relationship between the terrorist group and the current Afghan government, Taliban leaders have demanded to negotiate directly with the Americans to broker a deal. The Taliban says that it remains committed to cooperating with both governments as long as a fair deal is offered, and all their demands are met. The Trump administration has been keen on ending the war in a timely fashion, likely due to the U.S. elections. However, multiple Afghan officials have urged those involved to remain patient and address the issue cautiously due to the complexity of the conflict and its impacts.
The war in Afghanistan has had devastating impacts on the Middle East as well as on Americans, being one of the deadliest wars in U.S. history. As such, a lot depends on these negotiations. The Afghan government has called on Saudi Arabia to help persuade the Taliban to come to the table and negotiate with them. Meanwhile, the U.S. government has reached out to the Pakistani government, asking them also to pressure the Taliban into negotiating with the Afghan government. Military occupation is never a solution that provides more benefits than consequences. It is preferable to keep common goals in mind, as there is a far better likelihood of achieving positive benefits by working together rather than through war.
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