LONDON (Agencies): The rise to power of the Taliban terrorist movement in Afghanistan was the result of a deal signed in Doha between the United States and the Taliban without the participation of the Afghan authorities, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Tuesday.
In 2020, in Qatar, the United States and the Taliban signed the first peace agreement in more than 18 years of war, which provided for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan in 14 months and the beginning of an inter-Afghan dialogue following a prisoner exchange deal.
“I do not want to speak on behalf of American colleagues or speculate on this topic. All I want to say is that the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan as a result of the Doha deal,” Wallace said in response to questions in parliament.
He noted that the deal without the Afghan government was a warning and a clear signal that “there is no faith in this government.” At the same time, the British minister made a reservation that he was not aware of possible private contacts between the US authorities and the Afghan government at this time.
Wallace said the deal removed an obstacle that was holding back the Taliban.
“I don’t think we were defeated. We didn’t have enough determination, but I would not say that we were defeated. NATO was present in Afghanistan to conduct a political campaign. And I think this is where mistakes were made,” – he said. The head of the British Ministry of Defense added that after the withdrawal of their troops from the country, the member states of the alliance “found that the political campaign did not bear fruit.”
At the same time, according to Wallace, the NATO operation in Afghanistan can be considered “successful from a military point of view,” since over the past twenty years “the terrorist network” Al-Qaeda ” allies from the territory of Afghanistan “. The head of the British Defense Department again recalled that NATO countries could not actually extend their stay in Afghanistan due to the administration of the 45th US President Donald Trump in February 2020, concluded a deal with the Taliban on the withdrawal of the military contingent by May 2021.