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tv   Zalmay Khalilzad  Al Jazeera  September 20, 2020 11:33am-12:00pm +03

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you know part of the mainstream news narrative. obviously we cover big stories and we report on the big events going on but we all say to tell the stories of people who generally don't have a voice i mean one of the charm for my that's never be afraid to put your hand up and ask a question and i think that's what actually really does we ask the questions to people who should be accountable and also get people to give that view of what's going on. world. see. the people of afghanistan have seen war for much of the past 40 years from the soviet invasion of the late 1970 s. to the rise of the taliban in the 1990 s. . and its eventual fall from power in late 2001 there have been 6 democratic elections since then but finding consensus among afghans stance competing and diverse political groups has been challenging. while the taliban continued its attacks against civilians and government targets afghan forces and their allies
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have spent years fighting the group but after years of conflict where civilians were often the victims to become clear the way forward is through negotiations earlier this year the united states signed an agreement with the taliban facilitating a draw all of its troops and return the taliban agreed not to support any of the armed groups or attack us forces for their allies the agreement came off the nearly 7 years of efforts to facilitate political reconciliation between the taliban the afghan government the us and other countries. years earlier but their had agreed to open a political office in doha for the fall of one negotiations could be held. in doha after a long fought negotiations and several delays the afghan government is finally talking to the taliban but as they go to continue here in the capital fighting has not stopped in afghanistan on september the 12th representative of the afghan government and the afghan taliban met here with the goal of ending
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a devastating conflict which has displaced millions of afghans. one of the main players in the peace process has been gone born american diplomat. who has led the efforts to achieve peace in a blunder stand on behalf of the united states since september 28th. having made it this far what's next in the afghan peace process and what role will washington play . the u.s. special representative for afghanistan to reconciliation. talks to al jazeera. ambassador zalmay felice u.s. special representative for. thank you very much for talking to us there it's good to be with you trillions of dollars spent nearly 1000 years later the united states thinks that it is now time for the afghans to sort out of going to stand themselves you call it a historic opportunity why. well for 19 years there's been an effort to in the war
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in afghanistan. by adding an agreement that's broadly supported in afghanistan a political road map and also an agreement that afghanistan never again would be a threat to the international community of course we worry about the united states in particular after all it was the $911.00 attack that did the u.s. and coalition forces to come to afghanistan and we had the 1st. time in these these 20 years something you could go back even longer since afghans have been in a war situations for 40 plus years that they are meeting their meeting at tora dative leave both sides broadly representative delegation from kabul or an empowered delegation from the taleban positive tone.
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meeting afterwards after the opening. stablished group one from each side to discuss their agenda next steps in the negotiations so i think for afghanistan it definitely is a story moment moment of opportunity a moment of hope. this is happening at a time where they are exchanging pleasantries here in the capital but on the ground in the 24 hours right after both sides met you heard the afghan government say that there have been 18 provinces where there have been small or medium relax i've done taliban saying that this is propaganda from the government side does that sound like 2 parties willing to negotiate with each other of course they are negotiating . not only sound like it is they go she and that's going on but the negotiations
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are taking place to build trust that is mutual mistrust that negotiations are taking place to reduce the violence that's our expectation the negotiations are taking place to deal with overcome the differences that as a result it calls for the fight to of find a formula for the resolving those differences. in turn of at least a formula and wish it doesn't mean that all of the agree to change your ideology or the government other groups change your ideology but how. even that there will be differences in values differences in ideology they can live together agree on a political forum. that's war cold war and implemented and it would be difficult. i don't anticipate that i'd be very pleasantly surprised that it will be easy and
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they quickly will come to an agreement but the door to interrupt and negotiation has been opened and given our role. we are very pleased that we have arrived at this phase from an american led diplomacy for peace in afghanistan to an afghan own afghan led peace process really call it an afghan on afghan led process but this is being made possible by excluding the afghan government from the initial agreement signed between the united states and the taliban to pressure the taliban the afghan government has released 5000 prisoners going to saw the back and forth in that as well so when the bases of this is being forced upon the afghan government by the united states do you really think the disks have gone on enough or i did was american led until the american agreement was the taliban signed on for every $29.00 and. u.s.
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ally nato and afghan joint declaration on the same day that opened. the door. we wish her the afghan government and the taliban could have met 5 years ago 6 years ago 2 years ago but it took merican engagement and american diplomatic leadership and agreement with polyps and some difficult decisions by all sides appreciative of the government of afghanistan for the tough decisions that it took. we all got to make difficult decisions we. united states made a difficult decision as well so but but that's that's what was required when i'm going to you've seen the press back home that on the eve of 911 the united states was pushing the afghan government to release 6 prisoners and send them to qatar you've seen the opposition from the french as well there is a lot of opposition back home in the united states and also from various circles in
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afghanistan as well that the united states has given too much weight to the taliban is that the case well we are not happy about the. release of some of those prisoners yet you facilitated it yes because we wanted something that was very important is very important for afghanistan for the international community. we wanted afghans to negotiate an end to the war which is i don't think any country that unhappy about the release of prisoners as i said we were through with said no let the war go on. we appreciate their expression of unhappiness. empathize with them we think the goal of making afghanistan to be more peaceful for afghans to come together. in
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the war for afghanistan not to be a threat to the international community and for the burden of afghanistan to reach to reduce on the international community as you referred to at the beginning of the program are significant goals and objectives and sacrifices to be made tough decisions difficult decisions had to be made. if nothing important is easy. to achieve and we had to do those tough things difficult things heart wrenching things to get to where we are we're beers we're satisfied. the objective we have in front of us. is worth sacrificing the tough decisions at that to just about talk about the specific tougher decisions that are that lie ahead the constitution of afghanistan the status of afghan national army what is going to the status of taliban fighters what happens to the rights of all afghans including
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women and minorities what to shorten this is do you have apart from the promises that the taliban have made it here to their side of the bargain for one thing if they don't that the year 2 the commitment that they have made to us and that our agreement with them. then we are free from our obligations that we have made with them based on hope is not based on trust it's based on it's a deal that's a package deal you do this we'll do this if they don't do this we don't do that so that or they count on the agreement this phase as phases that conditions and we will add here to our side provided the other side that hears its commitment now when it comes to the future issues. we have our hopes we have our desires we have our expectations but it's now up to the afghans.
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many people want of. even a few months ago that this or that happen given the gaps that exist the mistrust that exists between the 2 sides but there you have a very powered delegation i think they take their negotiations very seriously they're prepared for it and we have a very broad based representative a largely afghan delegation was senior people involved. also us come well prepared so they're taking this seriously in my view although there are spoiled. inside and out but. they say will be difficult is it worth identifying with the spoilers well there are people like this task or better than a peace agreement there over there particularly profiting from this that's go there financially profiting from the status quo their fears of one mind happened in terms
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of their relative power positions in an agreement understandable but you know when you look at it from a brother national interest point of view those are sort of putting small interests ahead of the broader national interest and that is obviously not accept a war but there are also people there are groups. war against the peace process. afghans coming together they want to keep the u.s. untangled in a war that's like diversion afghanistan. which is trying to polarize the situation some of the attacks in my judgment the most desperately attacked have been dying at that they've tried to pretend as if it was the. so to undermine the peace process you know i served in iraq and we when we were trying to bring the various forces in iraq together there was this attack on a scary
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a mosque that polarized the situation and i have worry that every day that some force might do some thing that the there that could undermine their regional. issues afghanistan's conflict is quite complex in terms of the number of players some because of problems that relation with us would like to cause problems in afghanistan some because of rivalries with each other. and we have tried to be active not only in. for the afghan side but also regionally and internationally to build a consensus for peace in afghanistan for i think not only that is the need for a broad agreement among afghans for it to work but also broader international support for i asked you about the obligations of the taliban because there is a certain timeline that you work in growth i have spoken to members of the
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delegation who feel rushed by the united states into a disagreement obviously this is an election year you have to withdraw your troops according to the president in 14 months so how is it going to work if the afghans themselves are working on a u.s. timeline well they're not working on a u.s. timeline but i think they're under pressure from their people who want the war to it were suffering you pointed out the ministry of defense at the beginning every day afghans are dying. thank god there hasn't been an american dead in afghanistan since for every 29 because we have an agreement with the tablets but we have the right to come to the defense of the afghan forces of the come under attack . urgency. afghan should the most as a said yes present policies or we'll known that you would like to in the war bring
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the troops home and we have said it repeatedly to the afghans that being in afghanistan militarily is not an indian itself for us it's condition based long as we can be assured this framework that we agree with taliban which has 4 elements terrorism assurances can negotiation complete and permanent cease fire and they would draw over international forces as a package range of men. would like to see progress on all fronts and. we have agreed if all of these conditions are met within 14 months we will withdraw . and we are. going to arrive at around $4500.00 by the end of november plus our allied. forces and. we'll see what the circumstances are at that time we can still carry out the mission that our forces have but you do realize that this gives
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a certain propaganda tool for the afghan taliban who've been courting the words of the secretary of state in february when he called going to sign the graveyard of empires there if you look at the statements not from doha but from kabul they're very different in tone to what you seeing from here so is there a duplicity at play here and how do you counter it no there is no duplicity but. if afghanistan everything whether you had agreed to everything with or and so it's not surprising you you expect that all of that everybody. that and i agree on everything certainly we appreciate the concerns afghan government has we have assured them in our joint declaration that we remain committed to the agreements and commitment that we have with them and at the same time we have disagreement with the talabani. and
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the joint declaration took the key elements of the agreement that we have a total of one is in that joint statement with the afghan government and elements that are in the joint. declaration is in the u.s. $1.01 agreement and afghan government have seen that we have honor and continue to honor all our commitments as they said when their forces are attacked we come to the defense of those forces and we will continue to do so let's quickly talk about the future of afghanistan if. all of these 4 phases are completed or finished the united states what is going to be the u.s. engagement because many people fear that right after the soviet war ended the united states and its allies left afghanistan on its own that's when things really became from bad to worse and what assurances have you given to the people of
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obama's son to the afghan government to also parties of the conflict that the u.s. is not going to abandon them and how are you going to make sure that reunited states remains valid well you know i i'm old enough been involved in diplomacy including dealing with afghanistan for some time and. error was made. the end of the soviet. period one is more than one error but one was not to try to do what we're doing now with afghan forces the mujahideen fought the soviets and the afghans other afghans to get to a political agreement to have negotiations like the one among afghans so that is that the withdrawal was. being carried out by the soviet forces there was an order there. and agreement and
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a political process among the forces in play so that and. that was because the lack of trust between the united states and the soviet union at the time many people didn't think the soviets were serious about would draw but also the afghans made the. sacrifice so much to push the soviets out to force them out and the world benefited from the. soviet departure and what followed that departure which is the disintegration of the soviet union but the afghans were one. a great victory at huge cost. politically by going to civil war against each other i hope the afghans are paying attention learning the lessons of that period we certainly have learned. and that's why we've started this peace process to get the afghans to negotiate that's why i call
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it the start of opportunity to avoid another historic mistake which many afghans admit happened. as the sole. withdrawing and afterwards you yourself have roots to afghanistan. can you distill it in the end what is at stake here what if they fail where there is a lot of fears by lots of sides that they are so rigid in their positions the afghans government wants an immediate cease fire the taliban immediately wants a government where they have a seat at the table what is at stake here what is a lot of that stake 1st and foremost for the afghans for the afghan people as i said they're suffering every day they're tired of of the war. in afghans are killing each other right now as i said thank goodness case isn't happening so. i just don't think the afghan people
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will understand their leaders who will either taliban or the government. if they lose this opportunity i just think they would not be true to their people if they did that so i think they feel that pressure they feel that pressure that that yearning is there for peace but they are also under pressure from us they're also under pressure from other international players who are watching them we're going to monitor these negotiations and we'll help with that help is needed but ultimately now we're in a different phase in which the afghans are in the in the sea they can't blame the united states they can't blame others they are eyeing each other. the. current generations the losses that they are suffering their aspirations and the circumstances of generations of afghans. not to lose this opportunity but to
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rise and take advantage of the systolic opportunity and if they do with the united states wants to assure afghanistan that we would be a good partner we want a good legacy behind in afghanistan and we would like to see this war and finally there is yes there is you are united states there is the afghan taliban but there are also regional players here you alluded to the fact that they are very heavily involved in afghanistan is the united states leaving are going to stand going to leave a void which will be filled by either regional actors or other major powers in the region well we want. the region. play a positive role for regard to peace i think the region we're benefit from peace and afghanistan war producer the refugees that undermine the economy of the neighbors
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war. blocking blockage for trade across. the region. peace will create the opportunity for connectivity for center asia with asia and the world for trade for investment and afghanistan can be we we have so that for a long time a kind of land bridge. connecting central asia south asia and beyond and we're prepared to invest in it it is going to be a non 0 sum situation everyone could benefit that could be there and intended benefit for the region for the afghans security for the world prosperity and cooperation for the region this is also a moment of opportunity for the region to see but there are rivalries there are mistrust. as well but other regions have overcome that.
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more than half again through remember pows vietnam discussions about dominoes in southeast asia and now look at prosper as an operative that the region has become europe has overcome centuries of conflict why can't this region including where we are sitting. also learn from the lessons of other regions. there is nothing in the d.n.a. is different fundamentally than others so i think there could be a lesson from afghanistan that could be positive for the region as well investors are special representative for afghan reconciliation thank you very much for talking to us as well it's good to be with you thank you on the next episode of talk to al-jazeera we speak to another key player in the peace process dr abdullah abdullah who's the chairman of the high council for national reconciliation in the gut.
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close your eyes. listen. to the lesson a lot of us thought i'd be singing in parliament with the poor i never dreamt of this where the words fail music speaks to short films about how music knocked down the rules and inspire hope for a better life a.j. selects on al-jazeera. that in america is a region of the wonder of joy of tragedy and of violence but it doesn't matter where you are you have to be able to relate to the human condition. this is a good time to break away. i've been covering all of latin america for most of my
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career but no country is alike and it's my job to shed light on how and why to he not global community we are i think this conversation elbow. grease is the response that looks like be part of the debate issue in each of you can jump into the conversation want to do it when no topic is off the table if you're not afraid of anyone taking power we just call it what he lives in. you says 3 children richer and the poor getting poorer it's not to destroy the system it's just to look at the system and adapt it to the modern world this street on out is the era. jews here. and.
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the us unilaterally declare sanctions of being reimposed on iran but the un security council members reject the move. hello i'm sad to say that this is now just 0 live from doha also coming up protesters in bangkok say the country belongs to the people in a challenge to the monarchy.


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