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US, Taliban At The Threshold Of Peace Agreement: Khalilzad

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, says the United States and the Taliban are “at the threshold of an agreement” that will reduce violence and open the door for Afghans to sit together to negotiate an honorable and sustainable peace.

Mr. Khalilzad said in a tweet that he concluded this round of talks with the Taliban in Doha and that he would travel to Kabul for consultations.

His remarks come as Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in an interview with TOLOnews on Saturday evening said he will meet Mr. Khalilzad in Kabul on Sunday and that the US envoy will brief the Afghan leaders on recent developments in the ninth round of negotiations in Doha.

A Taliban spokesman in Qatar, Suhail Shaheen, in a tweet said that this round of talks ended late night with “success” and it is agreed the technical teams will hold a meeting this afternoon.

This comes days after US President Donald Trump said he will reduce the number of US troops from 14,000 to 8,600 in Afghanistan.

 

The US-Taliban talks are mainly focused on four topics: international forces withdrawal from Afghanistan, counterterrorism assurances, a ceasefire, and intra-Afghan negotiations.