US strategy in Afghanistan has failed: Former FM

By Khalilur Rahman Salahshoor, Ahmet Dursun and Tolga Akbaba

ISTANBUL (AA) – The new U.S. strategy toward Afghanistan and South Asia has failed and there is still instability in Afghanistan, said the former Afghan FM.

Rangin Dadfar Spanta, who once served as the national security advisor of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, spoke about the current security situation in the country to Anadolu Agency.

“The government's control of important regions in the country has ended. We can say that the U.S. strategy was defeated,” Spanta said. “The U.S. president’s [Donald Trump] strategy hasn’t left a positive impact on the security situation in the country, and there is still instability in Afghanistan."

Spanta went onto say that it was important for the Afghan government to expand the regions it controlled and implement the rule of law in these regions, but there were even more problems now compared to past years.

Touching on the claims of nine U.S. bases in Afghanistan, he said: “The situation of military bases is based on agreements signed between Washington and Kabul. These bases were given to the use of the U.S. So, both Afghanistan and the U.S. should adhere to their obligations.”

He said the essence of the matter was that Washington did not stick to its commitments to Afghanistan.

“For this reason, we need to review the security agreement with Washington for a better implementation of the agreement and the fulfillment of U.S. promises.”

In 2014, Kabul signed the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with Washington aimed to handle its presence after the end of its combat mission that same year.

Recently, Afghanistan has been considering a review of the BSA over the U.S.’s alleged failure to head off rising violence and a spate of Taliban attacks.

– Peace talks between Afghanistan and Taliban

Spanta said peace talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban were not possible.

“Both the Kabul government and Afghan High Peace Council confessed [this] a few days earlier,” he said, adding that it was foreign powers like the U.S., Russia and the Central Asia countries, who established a dialogue with the Taliban.

“The Afghans, despite being the owner of the land, didn’t take part in the peace talks,” he said.

He also said that Zalmay Khalilzad, the new U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, could play a more important role in talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban than the former diplomats, who did not know the country well enough.

Also mentioning the matters of dispute between Afghanistan and Pakistan, he reminded Turkey was playing a mediator role between the two countries.

“Considering Turkey’s friendly and brotherly relations with the two countries, I believe that Turkey will play a very positive and valuable mediator role in the future,” he said.

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