The Afghan peace process has witnessed a major development as the Taliban have given the U.S. envoy their offer for a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan that would last between seven and 10 days, Taliban officials familiar with the negotiations said on Thursday (Jan 16).
The offer is seen as an opportunity to open a window to an eventual peace deal that would allow the United States to bring home its estimated 13,000 troops and end the 18-year war in Afghanistan, America’s longest conflict. The cease-fire offer was handed to Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington’s envoy for talks with the insurgents, late Wednesday in Qatar, a Gulf Arab country where the Taliban maintain a political office.
Khalilzad has been pressing for a cease-fire but it wasn’t immediately clear whether the Taliban proposal would be enough to allow for the on-again off-again talks between the Taliban and the U.S. to restart, with the aim of eventually signing a peace deal.
If an agreement is reached, the move could revive hopes for a long-term solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. The talks between the two sides were “useful” and would continue for a few days, the spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, said in a tweet early on Friday.
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17 November, 2019