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US, Taliban on ‘threshold’ of deal: US Afghan envoy – World

US and Taliban negotiators are “on the threshold of an settlement” to finish 18 years of battle between them, Washington’s high negotiator mentioned on Sunday as he concluded their newest talks.

The foes have been assembly in Doha to finalise a deal below which the Taliban would give safety ensures in return for sharp reductions to the 13,000-strong US power in Afghanistan.

“We’re on the threshold of an settlement that may cut back violence and open the door for Afghans to sit down collectively to barter an honourable and sustainable peace,” tweeted Washington’s particular envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad.

Khalilzad added that he would journey to Kabul afterward Sunday “for consultations” following the top of the eighth and ultimate day of the most recent spherical of talks.

The US negotiator didn’t say if he had a finalised textual content to undergo the Afghan authorities however a number of officers have hinted in current days that transferring talks to Kabul might sign a constructive final result.

“Regardless of hypothesis, we don’t but have an announcement to make,” a US State Division spokesperson mentioned, including that Khalilzad would converse to a variety of Afghans in Kabul, together with authorities leaders.

US troops have 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 a minimum of 2018.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo beforehand mentioned he hoped a deal can be finalised earlier than September 1 forward of Afghan polls due later this month, and subsequent yr’s US presidential vote.

The Taliban’s spokesman in Doha Suhail Shaheen mentioned on Saturday {that a} deal “is close to to finalised” however didn’t specify what obstacles stay to its conclusion.

The settlement will centre on the US withdrawing troops in change for a Taliban assure that Afghanistan won’t be used as a jihadist secure haven.

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

Such a deal would assist foster “a unified, sovereign Afghanistan that doesn’t threaten the USA, its allies, or some other nation”, Khalilzad added in his Sunday tweet.

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

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

This ninth spherical of talks has additionally progressed to a backdrop of persistent violence with the Taliban staging a brazen assault on the northern metropolis of Kunduz on Saturday.

Afghan safety forces say they’ve “repelled” the coordinated assault.

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