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E-International Relations

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Afghanistan -- Politics and government -- 21st century, Afghanistan -- Foreign relations -- United States, Afghanistan -- Foreign relations -- China, Peace-building -- Afghanistan, Diplomatic negotiations in international disputes


After more than a year of negotiations it appeared in the fall of 2019 that an agreement had been reached between the United States and the Afghan Taliban. Yet before the agreement could be formally signed, the United States backed away from the agreement citing the death of an American serviceman as a result of a Taliban bomb. The negotiations are now officially on hold, although Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States Special Representative, continues to talk to the Taliban through other channels. The failure, at least so far, of an agreement between the United States and Taliban has numerous consequences, including the chaotic Afghan elections, the continuation of the fighting, the halt to the release of prisoners, and the dramatic increase in civilian deaths. In addition, China has shown that it would like to be a player in Afghanistan. With the peace talks between the United States and the Taliban on hold, China, which has economic and political interests in Afghanistan, is attempting to inject itself into the Afghan peace process by offering to hold the next round of negotiations in Beijing. The failure of the peace talks has also affected the Afghan presidential election, which had been long postponed. The election finally took place on September 28, 2019, but not without considerable controversy and conflict. The election might not have taken place at all had the peace agreement been ratified. While just holding the election can be seen as an accomplishment, the election was so flawed that that the results, should they ever be announced, may cause more conflict than had the elections not been held.

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