As the Afghan president fled headover from Afghanistan last month, a last-minute deal with the Taliban failed. They then moved into capital Kabul, US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad told the Financial Times newspaper.
The fall of Kabul led to a chaotic evacuation of Western citizens last month, but apparently could have been prevented. Khalilzad said that the Taliban had agreed that the Taliban would not enter the city yet.
The deal provided for a two-week transition period, according to the diplomat. President Ashraf Ghani would stay in his post temporarily. Meanwhile, a transitional government would be negotiated in Qatar.
Nothing of those agreements ended up. Ghani left abroad and that led to chaos in the capital. Khalilzad told the paper that he was unaware of the Afghan leader‘s flight plan. After his departure, security services would not have functioned anymore.
The Taliban would then have asked if the United States would be responsible for security in Kabul. “And you know what happened. We didn’t want to take those responsible,” Khalilzad said in his first interview since the American departure from Afghanistan.
According to the Financial Times, it failed to ask Ghani himself for a response. The former president previously stated that he had fled to prevent further bloodshed.