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Taliban and Al-Qaeda retain ties despite US’ Afghanistan deal, UN monitors warn

Taliban and Al-Qaeda retain ties despite US’ Afghanistan deal, UN monitors warn

Ties between the Taliban, especially its Haqqani Network branch, and Al-Qaeda remain close, despite a US-Taliban pact that Washington hoped would sever them, the independent UN sanctions monitors said.

“The Taliban regularly consulted with Al-Qaeda during negotiations with the US and offered guarantees that it would honor their historical ties,” the monitors said in a report to the UN Security Council, which was made public on Monday. 

Under the February 29 US-Taliban deal that could pave the way toward a full withdrawal of foreign soldiers from Afghanistan, the Taliban promised to prevent Al-Qaeda from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of the US and its allies.

US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, said he believed the report covered the period through March 15, about two weeks after the US-Taliban pact, and it may take time for the Taliban to deliver.