Follow Us:

US-Taliban discuss peace deal in new talks

“They held talks about the signing of the agreement and its related ceremony,” Mujahid said.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Taliban and the US resumed their talks that are expected to continue for “several days” in the Qatari capital of Doha for finalizing an arrangement to sign a possible Afghanistan peace deal, according to the militant group on Friday.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that its negotiating team led by Mullah Baradar Akhund held a meeting with US negotiators led by envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha.

“They held talks about the signing of the agreement and its related ceremony,” Mujahid said.

The fresh round of talks has been “productive” and would continue for “several days”.

Earlier in the month, the reduction of violence will include a halt in conducting suicide attacks in major cities, and the group will also not block major highways.

Last year, in September, Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation had said that the US and Taliban are “at the threshold of an agreement” that would reduce violence and open the door for Afghans to sit together and negotiate.

On December 19, Khalilzad also said that the US and Taliban were approaching an important stage in the Afghan peace process.

In August, peace talks between Washington and the Taliban had to reach a deal on the withdrawal of thousands of American troops collapsed after President Trump cited an attack that killed a US soldier as his reason for pulling out of negotiations. The talks did not include the Afghan government.

Another Taliban spokesperson, Emran Khalil took to his social media and wrote on the Twitter page that the two sides discussed the issues related to the “signing of the agreement and withdrawal mechanism of foreign troops” from Afghanistan.

The US and Taliban negotiators during a yearlong nine rounds of talks were said to have completed a peace draft agreement last September.

The draft agreement ensures that over 5,000 US troops will withdraw from five American bases in the first 135 days after the signing of the deal.

Since the end of the NATO combat mission in January 2015, the US maintains one contingent within the framework of the new allied mission of advising Afghan troops and another for “anti-terrorist” operations.