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US, Taliban push for peace in day 2 of talks

DOHA: The US and the Taliban will search to thrash out components of a deal to deliver a near Afghanistan’s 18-year battle within the second day of renewed talks in Doha on Sunday.

The US, which invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban in 2001, desires to withdraw hundreds of troops and switch the web page on its longest-ever struggle.

However it will first search assurances from the insurgents that they might surrender Al-Qaeda and cease different militants just like the Islamic State group utilizing the nation as a haven.

The talks, now of their eighth spherical, started on Saturday and have been attributable to resume Sunday morning after pausing in a single day, US and Taliban sources informed AFP.

A Taliban supply additionally mentioned efforts have been underway to organise a direct assembly between US envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar, who heads the motion’s political wing.

A coalition led by Washington ousted the Taliban in late 2001 accusing it of harbouring Al-Qaeda jihadists who claimed the September 11 assaults towards the US that killed nearly 3,000 individuals.

However regardless of a speedy conclusion to the traditional part of the struggle, the Taliban have proved formidable insurgents, bogging down US troops for years.

Washington is hoping to strike a peace cope with the Taliban by September 1 — forward of Afghan polls due the identical month, and US presidential elections due in 2020.

US President Donald Trump informed reporters on the White Home on Friday that “we’ve made a number of progress. We’re speaking”.

“We’re pursuing a peace settlement not a withdrawal settlement, a peace settlement that permits withdrawal,” Khalilzad tweeted on Friday as he arrived in Doha after talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.

“Our presence in Afghanistan is conditions-based, and any withdrawal might be conditions-based.”

In one other signal of progress, the Afghan authorities has fashioned a negotiating group for separate peace talks with the Taliban that diplomats hope could possibly be held as early as later this month.

‘Negotiations might be robust’

The Washington Put up reported Thursday that an preliminary deal to finish the struggle would see the US drive in Afghanistan lowered to as little as 8,000 from the present degree of round 14,000.

In trade, the Taliban would abide by a ceasefire, surrender Al-Qaeda, and discuss to the Kabul administration.

An Afghan official hinted final week that the federal government of President Ashraf Ghani was getting ready for direct talks with the Taliban, the small print of which have but to be introduced.

“We’ve got no preconditions to start talks, however the peace settlement shouldn’t be with out circumstances,” Ghani wrote in Pashto on his Fb web page on Friday forward of the talks.

“We wish a republic authorities not an emirate,” he mentioned, a problem to the Taliban which has insisted on reverting to the “Islamic Emirate” identify Afghanistan bore below its rule.

“The negotiations might be robust, and the Taliban ought to know that no Afghan is inferior in faith or braveness to them.”

The thorny problems with power-sharing with the Taliban, the function of regional powers together with Pakistan and India, and the destiny of Ghani’s administration additionally stay unresolved.

The most recent US-Taliban encounter follows final month’s talks between influential Afghans and the Taliban which agreed a “roadmap for peace” — however stopped in need of calling for a ceasefire.

Kabul resident Somaya Mustafa, 20, mentioned her nation desperately wanted a peace deal, however just one during which the Taliban “settle for girls and their achievements”.

“It’s a whole mess in our nation proper now. And if it continues, girls will undergo greater than anybody else.”

The United Nations has mentioned that civilian casualty charges throughout Afghanistan matched document ranges final month, following a dip earlier within the yr.

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