Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Afghans Worried About Pressure from Trump as Talks With the Taliban Get Underway

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Foreign Policy, 16 August 2020

AAN’s Obaid Ali is quoted extensively about possible motifs for the Taleban’s uncompromising stance before the planned start of peace talks with the Afghan government.

“The Taliban don’t want to become like the old jihadi factions and made useless. They can’t lose their religious dignity in this deal,” said Obaid Ali, a Kabul-based analyst at the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

Adding to this fear for the Taliban is the continued existence of fighters claiming allegiance to the Islamic State. Ali said the Taliban is fighting the Islamic State across Afghanistan in part to ensure that the country would be free of insurgencies once a peace deal is reached.

“Taliban attacks on the IS forces are meant to send a clear signal, ‘After us, there will be no more militant groups to take our place.’”

Ali said the Taliban had gained much diplomatic experience over the past 18 months, which helped the group forge relations with Western powers and regional neighbors.

“Every day, their office in Doha has five to 10 meetings with representatives from different nations. They’ve learned how to speak to dignitaries, how to negotiate.” (…)