Intra-Afghan negotiations did not begin as planned on 10 March 2020. But that day, Ghani signed a decree ordering the Afghan government to begin releasing 1,500 Taliban prisoners on March 14, if they agreed to sign pledges guaranteeing that they would not return to combat[115] If they did not sign the pledges, the decree would not enter into force. [115] On the same day, the United States began withdrawing some troops. [116] Despite the fact that the terms of the peace agreement were unanimously supported by the UN Security Council,[117] sources close to the Taliban, including Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen, later announced that the group had rejected Ghani`s prisoner exchange decree and had always insisted on the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners. [118] [119] [120] On 14 March 2020, Javid Fayçal, a spokesman for the National Security Council, announced that President Ghani had delayed the release of Taliban prisoners, stressing the need to review the list of prisoners, thereby undermining the peace agreement between the US government and the Taliban. [121] The Afghan government has agreed to participate in joint negotiations, provided the Taliban respect the terms of the agreement between the United States and the Taliban, and has committed to discussing the release of the prisoners. With the United States, the Afghan government has also agreed to begin reviewing its sanctions against the Taliban after intra-Afghan negotiations begin. For its part, the United States reaffirmed its determination to obtain approval by the United Nations Security Council for future agreements, to cooperate with the Afghan government in reconstruction efforts and to refrain from intervening in Afghanistan`s internal affairs. But international and national observers of the Afghan peace process could not confirm that the Taliban had severed relations with Al Qaeda. According to a May 2020 UN report, the Taliban met with Al Qaeda several times in 2019 and early 2020 to coordinate “operational planning, training and provision of safe havens to Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan” by the Taliban. CPA recently issued a contingency planning memorandum, “A Failed Afghan Peace Deal,” by Seth G. Jones, Harold Brown Chair and Director of the Transnational Threat Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Mr.

Jones talks about the significant hurdles that remain to be overcome for an internal peace agreement in Afghanistan and outlines the steps the United States can take to prevent the failure of a peace agreement in Afghanistan. Second, issues relating to the composition of a future Afghan state must be resolved so that negotiations can be considered a success. The Afghan government and the Taliban will have to address fundamental ideological concerns, as well as deep and practical concerns about power-sharing, transitional justice and disarmament, the demobilization and reintegration of the Taliban into the Afghan security forces.