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Taliban Signal to ‘Conclude an Agreement’ With US: Khalilzad

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2019)

The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad said on Saturday that the United States is ready for “a good agreement” with the Taliban.

The U.S. Envoy arrived in Doha, the capital of Qatar, to resume talks with the Taliban representatives.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet that U.S. and Taliban delegates would resume their peace negotiation at around 10 am on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Khalilzad said that the U.S. is “pursuing a peace agreement not a withdrawal agreement; a peace agreement that enables withdrawal.”

“Our presence in Afghanistan is conditions-based, and any withdrawal will be conditions-based,” he said in a tweet.

“The Taliban are signaling they would like to conclude an agreement. We are ready for a good agreement,” the U.S. Envoy added.

Meanwhile, a sound clip of Abdulsalaam Hanafi, the Political Deputy of the Taliban, has been shared by this group on the internet.

“All of the foreigner forces will pullout Afghanistan in a defined duration if we reach the agreement on the foreigner forces’ withdraw and announce it with the presence of the international community witnesses. After that, we will go for the intra-Afghan negotiations which are the national affairs of Afghanistan,”  said Hanafi in the voice clip. 

It comes as the U.S. is preparing to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan as part of an initial peace deal to end the long-term conflict in the war-weary country.

According to the Washington Post, the Trump administration is preparing to reduce its troops in Afghanistan from nearly 14000 to between 8000 and 9000.

The agreement would require the Taliban to broker a peace deal directly with the Afghan government, and give assurances the country won’t be used as a launching pad for international terror attacks, the report said.

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