President Joe Biden's newly appointed national security advisor told his Afghan counterpart that the US will support the peace process with a robust and regional diplomatic effort to reach a permanent ceasefire.

Afghan men look out from a damaged window of their building at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, on  December 20, 2020.
Afghan men look out from a damaged window of their building at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, on December 20, 2020. (Reuters)

The Biden administration will review whether the Taliban is reducing violence in keeping with its side of the deal in the Afghan peace accord.

President Joe Biden's newly appointed national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, spoke with his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib and "made clear the United States' intention to review" the deal, National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said.

Specifically, Washington wants to check that the Taliban is "living up to its commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders," she said.

"Sullivan underscored that the US will support the peace process with a robust and regional diplomatic effort, which will aim to help the two sides achieve a durable and just political settlement and permanent ceasefire," she said.

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Violence besets peace talks

Sullivan also discussed "the United States' support for protecting the extraordinary gains made by Afghan women, girls and minority groups as part of the peace process."

On Tuesday, Biden's nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, told his Senate confirmation hearing that "we want to end this so-called forever war."

In the accord signed in Doha, the United States said it would withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by May 2021 and the Taliban pledged not to allow extremists to operate from Afghanistan, although the group continued attacks on government forces.

Last week the number of US troops in Afghanistan went down to 2,500, the lowest level of American forces there since 2001.

But violence levels in Afghanistan have surged, hastening international calls for a ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

The representatives of the two sides met earlier this month for a first session in a second round of peace talks, where contentious issues such as a ceasefire and power-sharing were expected to be discussed.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies