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Joe Biden expected by Taliban to uphold deal to pull out troops in Afghanistan by May 2021
President-elect Joe Biden is already undergoing the transition in time for January when he is officially sworn in as the new president. As Biden prepares to tackle the duties of Donald Trump by January, the Taliban is also counting on him to uphold his soon-to-be predecessor’s deal with them.
The Taliban is expecting Biden to uphold the US’ end of the deal that the militia group negotiated with Trump and his administration last February. The deal would involve pulling out American soldiers in Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for guarantees and commitments from insurgents to cease operations of transnational jihadist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda in the country.
“We signed the agreement with the US government, not a person,” said Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem. “We hope that the process that has started will not be weakened, but rather strengthened.”
The Taliban has since doubled down in reminding the US about the deal made with them. However, there are also people who support the incoming president that hope Biden would slow down the removal of US troops in Afghanistan. Following the brokering of the deal, several US military bases in Afghanistan have shut down and thousands of soldiers have been pulled out. As the Afghanistan government was not included in the negotiations, the deal also resulted in the release of 6,000 Taliban prisoners.
Peace talks have since begun between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban in Doha also as part of the deal with the US. Progress from the talks has yet to be made.
Many world leaders, especially allies of the United States have expressed their congratulations to Biden following the news of his election victory. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, French President Emmanuel Macron, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas have all delivered their congratulatory messages for the incoming President. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also congratulated Biden and Kamala Harris for their win.
“I congratulate @JoeBiden on his election as the next U.S. President & @KamalaHarris as Vice President. I know Joe Biden as a strong supporter of our Alliance & look forward to working closely with him. A strong #NATO is good for both North America & Europe,” tweeted Stoltenberg.