Sources told Afghanistan’s Tolo News that the US and the Taliban are currently discussing the possibility of finishing the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan by early July instead of the September 11th deadline set by President Biden.
Because Biden broke the US-Taliban peace deal by pushing back the original May 1st withdrawal deadline, the Taliban has said it will not attend an upcoming Afghanistan peace summit in Istanbul. Tolo’s sources said if the US agrees to pull out by early July, the Taliban will attend the Istanbul conference.
“The US has set a deadline for itself and it is possible that the Taliban will not agree to it and then a deadline in the middle will be agreed upon,” said former Taliban commander Sayed Akbar Agha in comments to Tolo.
The US and NATO forces in Afghanistan officially began withdrawing last week. In April, Germany’s Defense Ministry said NATO forces were considering leaving Afghanistan by July 4th in an effort to avoid attacks by the Taliban.
Since the US-Taliban peace deal was signed in Doha in February 2020, no US troops have died in combat in Afghanistan. Since Biden broke the agreement, the Taliban has been threatening it will renew attacks against foreign forces. While there was heavy fighting over the weekend, it doesn’t appear that US or NATO troops came under any major attacks. The Pentagon said there were some “small harassing attacks” over the weekend but said they are not affecting the withdrawal.