US and Taliban on ‘threshold’ of deal, says US envoy- Samaa Digital

 

Picture: AFP

The US and the Taliban are on the point of hanging a deal after 18 years of warfare, Washington’s prime negotiator stated Sunday, forward of a go to to Kabul the place he was to satisfy with Afghan officers.

The obvious progress on the newest spherical of talks to conclude in Doha got here even because the Taliban launched a broad offensive on the town of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, and violence flared in a neighbouring province.

“We’re on the threshold of an settlement that can scale back violence and open the door for Afghans to take a seat collectively to barter an honourable and sustainable peace,” tweeted Washington’s particular envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad.

His remark got here simply hours after Afghan safety forces stated they’d cleared Kunduz of Taliban fighters, who on Saturday launched a broad assault on the provincial capital in a bid to attain a repeat of a 2015 takeover.

Afghan forces, backed with native and US air energy, had been capable of cease the town falling and repel the Taliban, however 20 troops and 5 civilians had been killed, officers stated.

The brazenness of the assault was highlighted by a suicide bomber blowing himself up and killing police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini as he briefed reporters on the combating.

Not less than 10 others had been additionally killed, officers stated.

In 2015, the Taliban overwhelmed native forces and briefly seized Kunduz, and it was solely retaken by Afghan forces with US air assist.

Combating additionally broke out Sunday in Pul-e Khumri, the capital of neighbouring Baghlan province, however officers stated the state of affairs was “underneath management”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo beforehand stated he hoped a peace deal can be finalised earlier than September 1, forward of Afghan polls due September 28.

Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s spokesman in Doha, stated Saturday a deal was “close to to finalised” however didn’t specify what obstacles stay.

‘Unified’ Afghanistan

Afghan-born Khalilzad, who beforehand served because the US ambassador to Kabul, has spent the final yr or so criss-crossing the globe in a bid to construct assist for a historic cope with the Taliban.

Whereas the settlement wouldn’t instantly guarantee peace, it’s designed to result in a drop in violence.

The settlement will centre on the US starting to withdraw roughly 13,000 troops in alternate for a Taliban assure that Afghanistan is not going to be used as a militant protected haven.

Negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan authorities, and an eventual ceasefire, will even be key pillars of any deal.

The deal would pave the best way to “a unified, sovereign Afghanistan that doesn’t threaten america, its allies, or another nation,” Khalilzad stated.

He didn’t say if he had a finalised textual content to indicate Afghan authorities, however a number of officers have hinted in latest days that transferring talks to Kabul may sign a constructive final result.

The obvious ultimate part of talks follows an excruciating few months for Afghans.

The war-torn nation’s individuals have watched on largely unvoiced as US negotiators reduce a cope with the Taliban whereas largely sidelining the federal government of President Ashraf Ghani.

Fearing a return to energy of the Taliban, many fear the deal and subsequent negotiations will result in a discount in private freedoms and restricted ladies’s rights that trendy Afghans have grown accustomed to.

US troops had been first despatched to Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 assaults carried out by Al-Qaeda, which was sheltered by the previous Taliban regime.

Washington now desires to finish its navy involvement — the longest in its historical past — and has been speaking to the Taliban since at the least 2018.

 

 

 

 

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