For more information on the initial agreements, see CFR`s Backgrounder, “U.S.-Taliban Peace Deal: What to Know” and watch CFR`s timeline, “The U.S. War in Afghanistan.” Second, the agreement between the United States and the Taliban and the joint declaration recognize that the Taliban and the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) must take counter-terrorism measures to prevent “armed groups” or “terrorist groups” from using Afghanistan as a base. However, there is no agreement on whether the Taliban and ANDSF – and, if so, coalition forces – will coordinate these operations, as they confirm, that the attacks were not carried out or supported by Taliban subgroups, or how the Taliban will prove that they oppressed the Islamic State in Khorasan operations. In addition, the Taliban`s ties to Al Qaeda, including through the Haqqani network, could prove difficult to separate. Although they agreed, as part of the agreement signed with the United States, to end their ties with terrorist groups, a UN report [PDF] published in May 2020 found that the Taliban remained in close contact with Al Qaeda. It was not known when a comprehensive ceasefire would come into force. The Afghan government has called on the Taliban to immediately cease their attacks, but the insurgents insist that they not lay down their arms until after a peace deal has been reached. Since the two sides first agreed to negotiations, the Talbans have intensified violence across Afghanistan, particularly against Afghan security forces. Both the agreement between the United States and the Taliban and the joint declaration decide to create a lasting ceasefire in Afghanistan as a precondition for a political solution. The Prevention Centre provided an accessible overview of peace negotiations in Afghanistan, including the U.S.-Taliban agreement, the joint statement of the U.S. government and the Afghan government, and the ongoing internal process. The agreement is part of more than 18 months of peace talks – and nine rounds – involving Khalilzad, Taliban representatives, Afghan government delegations and many other special representatives or envoys from neighbouring or regional countries and international organizations. The signing of the agreement was preceded by a seven-day reduction in the violence agreement, seen as a test of the Taliban`s ability to control their armed forces.
Representatives of the United States and the Taliban who participated in the signing of a landmark agreement in Qatar in February avoided calling it a “peace agreement.” The annexes to the agreement between the United States and the Taliban, which has never been published, should limit the fighting. According to a well-placed source, the Taliban were allowed to continue their operations in rural areas, but not in major cities. The agreement between the United States and the Taliban promised that “up to 5,000” Taliban detainees would be released by the Afghan government before the negotiations, in exchange for 1,000 members of the security forces held by the militants. Unlike the agreement between the United States and the Taliban, the joint statement explicitly refers to al Qaeda terrorist groups and the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Chorasan, not “armed groups.” The United States and NATO have committed to training Afghan security forces (in accordance with existing security agreements [PDF]) and conducting counter-terrorism operations, while the Afghan government has pledged to prevent these terrorist groups from using Afghanistan as a base and continuing to conduct counter-terrorism and anti-drug operations.