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Taliban members meet top leader in Quetta over US deal

Kabul

26-December-2019

Taliban members met the group's top leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada in the Pakistani city of Quetta, during which they discussed a potential ceasefire with the US, a media report said.

A delegation from the Taliban's office in Doha also participated at the meeting so that it could brief the US side in Doha about a final decision on the ceasefire, TOLO News said in the report on Wednesday citing informed sources as saying.

"Discussions are underway to decide whether the ceasefire will be a short term or a permanent one, however a final decision has yet to be taken," said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.

Meanwhile a source familiar with the talks in Doha has said that the US has told the Taliban that it would not sign a peace agreement unless a deal was reached on a ceasefire and the reduction of violence.

Meanwhile in Kabul, the Afghan government is also trying to finalize a peace-negotiating delegation as part of efforts to broker the intra-Afghan talks once the US and the Taliban sign the peace deal.

"The Afghan government has considered the principle of consultation as a key element in forming an inclusive peace negotiating delegation--the peace negotiating team will be inclusive to make sure that it can represent the people of Afghanistan in a comprehensive way," said Naji Anwari, spokeswoman for the State Ministry on Peace Affairs.IANS