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Daily News Analysis

Taliban-US talks in Qatar: another blow to the Saudis

Crescent International

The Taliban’s ability to drag the US regime and its puppets in Afghanistan to the negotiating table is both a political and military humiliation for Washington.

It will have long-term repercussion for the Saudi regime and the cabal of Gulf sheikdoms, two of whom recently recognized the Zionist occupation of Palestine.

The Taliban are strictly a local Islamic resistance movement.

They have no intention of expanding their influence beyond Afghanistan. Their record, past and present, confirms this.

The negotiations that began in Doha, Qatar on September 12 sent a powerful political message to the Muslim street worldwide: it is possible to defeat US imperialism through armed struggle.

Last week’s negotiations in Doha were camouflaged as talks between the US-installed Afghan puppets and the Taliban.

However, informed observes understand that the real conversation was taking place between the Taliban and the American delegation led by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The talks in Qatar occurred at a very bad time for the US and the Gulf regimes.

One does not have to be an expert to acknowledge that the UAE’s and Bahrain’s recognition of Palestine’s occupation was considered as treason by the Muslim masses.

The Taliban’s ability to force the US to negotiate with them and to agree to withdraw all foreign forces stands in sharp stark contrast with the shameless surrender of the Persian Gulf autocracies.

The political symbolism of these two events cannot be underestimated.

It will certainly energize anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist Islamic and non-Islamic movements worldwide.

The Taliban’s political and military victory over Israel’s godfather, the US, greatly damages the Saudi regime’s already declining influence among Salafis.

In the last ten years, the Saudis have lost all credibility in the wider Muslim Ummah.

They had bought influence through well-financed Salafi networks and the Salafi educational institutions in Madinah.

The masses were oriented towards Riyadh because there was no Salafi entity that possessed real power in any Muslim domain.

With the Taliban’s anticipated return to power in Afghanistan, this political and social dynamic will change.

It will thus eliminate the last pillar of Saudi influence in the Muslim world.

This does not mean that the Taliban should be classified as a classical Salafi movement.

Nevertheless, the Salafis view the Taliban positively because they had forged close relations when both were fighting, with US backing, the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Thus, it cannot be ruled out that the Saudis might try to undermine the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, primarily to maintain their usefulness to Washington’s machinations in the Muslim world.

For several years, the Taliban are likely to be consumed by extending their control over Afghanistan.

This will allow for minimal external political engagements.

Despite this, their military and political successes will have tangible ramifications beyond Afghanistan’s borders.

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