The date for the signing of a peace agreement between the US and the Taliban will be announced within the next few days, after which the two sides will start discussions on the intra-Afghan talks, according to report on Friday.
During the forthcoming round of talks between the US and the Taliban, both sides will establish a timeline for signing the peace agreement and starting the intra-Afghan talks, TOLO News reported.
Meanwhile, Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander, said: “The ceasefire has two components — The firstis to announce a ceasefire before signing an agreement with the US. The second part is about a nationwide agreement both with Afghans and the foreigners. I think the Taliban have not agreed on the first component.”
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kabul, Zahid Nasrullah Khan, said that his country hopes that the agreement between the US and the Taliban lead to a ceasefire so that there is an intra-Afghan dialogue.
Earlier 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.
Last month, President Donald Trump paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan to spend Thanksgiving for the first time in that country with the American troops present there and assured those deployed that the Taliban have been engaged in talks.
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.
The Taliban had never agreed to end their violent campaign against Afghan and foreign forces while negotiations were taking place. Sixteen US troops have been killed this year.
In 2001, US-led forces overthrew the Taliban government in Afghanistan because the militants had given safe haven to the Al-Qaeda network to plan the attacks on the US on September 11.
According to the statistics from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, 2018 was the deadliest year on record for the Afghan conflict, with a total of 10,993 civilian casualties, including 3,804 civilian deaths.