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US-Taliban Talks Reach Critical Stage

(Last Updated On: July 1, 2019)

The U.S. and the Taliban negotiations over the withdrawal timeline of the foreign forces from Afghanistan, the intra-Afghan dialogue, and a ceasefire is at a critical stage.

Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman of Taliban’s Qatar office told Ariana News correspondent in Doha that it is the final round of talks between the Taliban and the U.S. negotiating teams.

Shaheen added that the two sides will release a joint statement if they reach a final agreement.

“During the last six rounds of talks, we discussed a lot of issues and resolved the differences. On this round of talks, efforts are underway to finalize the agreement and announce it,” Shaheen said.

He stated that any disagreement over the timeline of foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan and the upcoming presidential election can damage the ongoing peace process.

“There are a couple of issues that will be discussed today. We can talk about those issues after the negotiations. After resolving those issues, the agreement will be ready for announcement,” Shaheen added.

However, he confirmed that the issue of direct talks with the Afghan government is not resolved yet.

In addition, the Taliban official denied giving an exact response when he was asked if they want an Islamic Emirate or the Islamic Republic if they reach a peace deal.

But he insisted that an Islamic system is the will of all Afghans in the country.

The insurgent group spokesman further said that Washington has agreed that they do not recognize the Taliban as a terrorist group anymore.

This comes as the U.S. delegation headed by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban delegation headed by Shir Abbas Stanekzai are holding their seventh round of direct talks behind closed doors aimed at ending the 18-years of the Afghan violence.

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