The Afghan Taliban said on Wednesday (August 28) that they are close to an agreement with United States (US) officials on a deal that would see US forces withdraw from Afghanistan in exchange for a Taliban promise the country would not become a haven for international militants.
Negotiations over how to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan have been held in Qatar’s capital, Doha, since late last year. The ninth round of talks began last week. “We hope to have good news soon for our Muslim, independence-seeking nation,” said Suhail Shaheen, a spokesperson for the Taliban’s political office in Doha.
US officials engaged in talks with the Taliban in Doha were not immediately available for comment. The deal would see the US and other foreign forces gradually withdraw from Afghanistan in exchange for a commitment by the Taliban that the country will not be used as a launchpad for global attacks.
After the two sides agree on the two central issues, a separate dialogue on ensuring a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban are expected to take place in the form of intra-Afghan talks.
So far, the Taliban has refused to speak to the Afghan government, calling it a “puppet regime” of the West. The group says any engagement with Kabul would grant the government legitimacy.
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