Officials privy to the negotiations told Reuters that a fresh round of talks between US and Taliban began in Qatar, describing it the most crucial phase of negotiations.
According to them, a peace agreement is expected at the end of talks before August 13.
US special envoy on Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad said that the US is seeking peace agreement, not a withdrawal agreement.
“We are pursuing a peace agreement not a withdrawal agreement; a peace agreement that enables withdrawal. Our presence in Afghanistan is conditions-based, and any withdrawal will be conditions-based,” Khalilzad, who arrived in Doha on Friday night twitted.
He, however, added that “We are ready for a good agreement”.
Before arriving in Doha, Mr Khalilzad had met Pakistani officials and discussed issues pertaining the Afghan peace process.
“We discussed Pakistan’s role in support of the process and additional positive steps they can take,” he said after the meeting.
US envoy also said that “Peace will require reliable assurances from Afghanistan and Pakistan that neither side’s territory is used to threaten the other”.
US president Donald Trump also flagged “progress” in peace talks with the Taliban on Friday but again warned that he has the ability to wipe out much of Afghanistan within days, killing millions.
“We’ve made a lot of progress. We’re talking,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
He made a similar comment about 10 million casualties in July, but this time specified that this would not involve nuclear weapons. “I’m talking conventional.”
Sunday 4 August 2019 01:48