OIC welcomes US-Taliban peace deal
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has welcomed on Saturday the landmark deal between the US and Taliban, which seeks to achieve a lasting solution to the Afghan war.
Two landmark conferences in the Qatari capital Doha and Afghanistan’s capital Kabul saw historic decisions made regarding the fate of the war-ravaged country. The deal lays out a timetable for a full foreign troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
In a written statement, Yousef Al-Othaimeen, the OIC secretary general, applauded the “successful implementation of reduction of violence” in Afghanistan, as well as appealed to all parties to continue with the current arrangement and “work diligently” towards achieving “permanent ceasefire”.
“Afghan leaders and the people of Afghanistan have once again demonstrated that they are determined and capable of ending hostilities and moving towards lasting peace, security and stability to focus their efforts on the reconstruction, development of their country,” Al-Othaimeen said.
The agreement is expected to lead to talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government seeking an end to the armed conflict that began in 2001.
Referring to OIC’s Summit decisions and Ministerial resolutions, as well as 2018 Makkah Declaration adopted by the International Ulema Conference for Peace and Security in Afghanistan, Al-Othaimeen reiterated OIC’s “strong determination and readiness” to continue working with Afghanistan, its neighbors, and the international community “in laying down the foundations of lasting peace, security, stability, reconciliation, development and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region”.
Under the accord, Taliban have agreed not to allow al-Qaeda, Daesh or any other militant group to operate in the areas they control.
The US and its allies, after an initial reduction of troops from roughly 13,000 to 8,600 within 135 days, will move towards a complete withdrawal within 14 months.
At the height of the war, which started weeks after the September 2001 attacks in New York, Afghanistan had more than 100,000 American troops and tens of thousands of others from the US-led NATO coalition.
The deal also provides for a prisoner swap, and the US lifting sanctions against the Taliban.