The US-Taliban peace deal, which was signed on Saturday, Feb. 29, is focused on four parts: assurance that Afghanistan's territory will not be used against the US and its allies, the full withdrawal of international forces within 14 months, a permanent ceasefire and intra-Afghan negotiations.
The deal is called the “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban and the United States of America.”
The agreement says that “the United States is committed to withdraw from Afghanistan all military forces of the United States, its allies, and Coalition partners, including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel within fourteen (14) months following announcement of this agreement.”
“All non-diplomatic employees of the US will leave Afghanistan within 14 months,” said Abdul Salam Hanafi, a member of Taliban’s political office in Qatar.
Some of the points in the agreement between the US and the Taliban have been called "confidence building." An example of this is the prisoner release.
“Up to five thousand prisoners of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban and up to one thousand (1,000) prisoners of the other side will be released by March 10, 2020,” said the agreement.
President Ghani, however, on Sunday, a day after the peace deal was signed, said that there had been no commitment from the Afghan government to release these prisoners.
The deal also referred to lifting sanctions on Taliban members. The agreement says that with the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, the United States will initiate an administrative review of current US sanctions and the rewards list against members of the Taliban “with the goal of removing these sanctions by August 27, 2020.”
The Taliban’s commitment to cutting ties with al-Qaeda is another important part of the agreement.
According to the pact, the Taliban “will not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including al-Qaeda, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.”
Notably, the US consistently does not recognize the Taliban as a sovereign state, but throughout the agreement, the US is discussing affairs with the group that would be normally handled by a legitimate state government.
For example, the agreement says: “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban will not provide visas, passports, travel permits, or other legal documents to those who pose a threat to the security of the United States and its allies to enter Afghanistan.”
The Afghan government has not agreed to all of the terms in the deal, according to National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib, who gave an interview to TOLOnews on Saturday. One of these points is the prisoners' release.
Supporting human rights, supporting women’s rights and upholding the values of the Constitution of Afghanistan are issues that have not been clearly mentioned in the agreement.
“We don’t have enmity with anyone. Our fight has been for Islam and for the rescue of Afghanistan, for the freedom of the people of Afghanistan and we are firm on this principle right now, as well,” said Amir Khan Mutaqi, a member of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar.