US, Taliban on threshold of peace deal: Khalilzad

Taliban office in Qatar
Taliban office in Qatar

Washington, Sep 1 Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, has said that the US and Taliban are “at the threshold of an agreement” that will reduce violence and open the door for Afghans to sit together and negotiate.

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

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

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

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

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