March 1: 3rd anniversary of Doha agreement

Signing ceremony of US-Taliban deal in Doha, Qatar, Feb. 29, 2020. Photo: Reuters.

Today, March 1, marks the third anniversary of the Doha agreement, signed between the US and the Taliban after 18 months of negotiations. The agreement was signed between Taliban’s Abdul Ghani Baradar and former US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.

The agreement paved the way for the withdrawal of US and coalition forces from Afghanistan. SIGAR said the agreement opened the way for the collapse of former security and defense forces.

Addressing a ceremony in Kabul, Baradar accused the US of violating the agreement, especially prisoners release, removal of Taliban leaders from UN black list, and unfreezing of Afghanistan’s assets.

The Taliban celebrated the third anniversary of the agreement at a ceremony in Kabul and other provinces, including Nangarhar in the east.

Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy prime minister of the Taliban, said the US is not engaging with them and it has not allowed other countries in the world to interact with the group.

The complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan by May 1, the start of talks between Afghan politicians, a permanent ceasefire and the prevention of use Afghan territory from being used as a threat against the United States and its allies were among the main parts of the agreement.

The complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan on May 1, 2020, was not implemented, and on the contrary, on this day, the process of withdrawing these forces from Afghanistan started officially.

In the most important cases, the Taliban demanded the release of 7,000 additional prisoners and the removal of the names of the group’s leaders from the United Nations blacklist, and in exchange, the United States demanded a reduction in violence by the Taliban and severing their ties with groups such as al-Qaeda.

The US killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a Taliban guesthouse in downtown Kabul in July 2022. Taliban called it a violation of the Doha agreement.

But the US State Department has said that the Taliban has violated the Doha agreement by not preventing insurgent groups from operating in Afghanistan.