Doha deal ‘among the worst diplomatic agreements’: Petraeus

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The former head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan and former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), David Petraeus, said the deal signed between the Islamic Emirate and US “has to rank among the worst diplomatic agreements” that the US has been party to.

“Moreover, the ultimate peace deal that we reached with the Taliban in 2020 that committed the US to withdrawal the following year, which we negotiated without the elected Afghan government at the table, has to rank among the worst diplomatic agreements to which the US has ever been a party,” Petraeus wrote in an article for the Atlantic Magazine. “We acquiesced to Taliban demands because the resulting agreement gave us, in the narrowest sense possible, what we wanted.”

Deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate, Bilal Karimi, rejected Petraeus’s remarks and called the Doha agreement effective.

“The Islamic Emirate believes in negotiations and engagement. We believe that there should be negotiations with all the countries over the concerns they have,” he said.

Petraeus said that the lack of sufficient commitment over the years had innumerable knock-on effects.

“The Doha agreement was a temporary step for the problems that the US should overcome,” said Asadullah Nadim, a political analyst.

This comes as Kabul and Washington accuse each other of violating the Doha agreement after a US drone strike hit a residence in Kabul. US President Joe Biden announced that Ayman al Zawahiri, leader of the al-Qaeda network, was killed in the strike.

The Islamic Emirate once again assured the international community that there would be no threat to the US from Afghan soil.

Meanwhile, a retired US Army general David Petraeus has suggested that the United States should not abandon Afghanistan as it did Iraq by withdrawing all its troops from the country.

In an article published in the Wall Street Journal and co-written by Vance Serchuk, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, Mr. Petraeus says the history should not be repeated in Afghanistan and that leaders in Washington must proceed with caution.

Mr. Petraeus, who has served as commander of US Central Command and of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, says that a complete military exit from Afghanistan today would be even more ill-advised and risky than the Obama administration’s disengagement from Iraq in 2011.

His comments are expressed at a time that the US is negotiating a withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan with the Taliban in Doha.

A senior member of the Taliban, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwah, said on Friday that the US and the Taliban negotiators will likely sign the much-awaited peace agreement after at the end of this week.

Mr. Khairullah said the talks between the US and the group will continue after Eid al-Adha which ends on August 13.

He said that the peace deal between the US and the Taliban will be signed in the presence of representatives of the UN the Islamic Organization and regional countries after the return of the US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to Doha after Eid (August 14).

Mr. Khalilzad has said that the US is seeking a peace deal which will facilitate a conditions-based withdrawal of American forces from war-ravaged Afghanistan.—Tolonews

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