The Weekend Leader - Hopeful of agreement with US on ending Afghan war: Taliban

Hopeful of agreement with US on ending Afghan war: Taliban



 The Taliban is hopeful of sealing an agreement with the US to end the 18-year-old Afghanistan war in the crucial round of negotiations in Qatar this week, reports said on Thursday.

Working hard for nearly one year, the two sides have almost readied a text which "addresss all major issues," Suhail Shaheen, who speaks for the Taliban negotiating team, told VOA, reported Pakistani English daily The News.

He said the Taliban negotiators have done their part and it is now up to the American side, adding he hopes the two sides will soon reach agreement on withdrawal of foreign troops but did not disclose when exactly the meeting will be held.

The draft text outlines a "mutually agreed" timeline for US troops to leave the country in exchange for Taliban guarantees that "Afghan soil, particularly areas under our control" do not become a platform for trans-national terrorism, Shaheen said but did not spell out any details.

He also said international guarantors, possibly China, Russia, the United Nations, and neighbours of Afghanistan, including Pakistan and Iran, will witness the signing of the US-Taliban agreement.

Meanwhile, US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, as per his own tweet, was expected to reach Islamabad to hold talks with the civil and military leadership before he flies off to Doha for the agreement with the Taliban.

Following the agreement between the US and the Taliban, the stage will shift to intra-Afghan talks, and the Afghan government has named a team to negotiate directly with the Taliban. IANS 

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