INTERNATIONALTOP NEWS

Taliban hopeful of reaching agreement with US in upcoming talks

Washington

The Taliban has said that it is hopeful of reaching an agreement with the United States during the crucial round of peace negotiations between the two adversaries slated to be held later this week in Qatar’s capital city of Doha.

Speaking to Voice of America, Suhail Shaheen, the spokesperson for Taliban’s political office in Qatar, said that the two sides have worked hard for nearly one year and almost drafted a text in which they have addressed all major issues.

Shaheen added that the Taliban negotiators have done their part and it is now up to the American side whether they have “made up their mind” and take the next step of winding up the dialogue process.

On being asked about his expectations for the upcoming meeting, Shaheen said, “We hope to reach an agreement on the troops’ withdrawal.”

The Taliban and the US are getting closer to a deal centered around the latter’s promise to withdraw its troops from the war-torn country, in exchange for the guarantee by the former that the Afghan soil, particularly the areas under the Taliban’s control, would not become a platform for transnational terrorism.

The spokesperson added that the signing of the agreement would possibly be witnessed by China, Russia, the United Nations, Pakistan and Iran.

Understandably, once the agreement between the US and the Taliban is inked, it will require the latter to immediately enter into negotiations with Afghan stakeholders. It may be noted here that the Taliban, so far, have consistently refused to hold direct talks with President Ashraf Ghani’s government, denouncing it as a puppet administration.

“We are committed that when the final agreement is signed with the Americans for the withdrawal of their troops and the timetable is given and international guarantors are witnessing the final signature, after that, we will go to the inter-Afghan dialogue,” chief Taliban negotiator, Sher Abbas Stanikzai had said earlier this month.

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