US, Taliban get closer to a deal in upcoming round of Doha peace talks

Taliban delegation (Image: ANI)

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In what could be seen as a watershed moment in Afghanistan’s history, the Taliban says that it is hopeful of reaching an agreement with the United States in the upcoming peace talks in Doha. This will be eighth round of negotiations with the militant group. According to ANI, after working on a draft text for about an year, all major issues have been addressed.

Reaching a peace deal would mean the end of nearly an 18-year-long US military intervention in Afghanistan. After both the sides tabled their views on troops withdrawal, it made clear that it is going to be a ‘conditions-based withdrawal’ from Afghanistan.

Rapid progress is being made by both the sides on reaching a deal in which US will withdraw its troops from the war-torn Afghanistan and in exchange, the areas under Taliban’s control would not be used for transnational terrorism.

As the war became multi-national with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the signing of the agreement would possibly be witnessed by China, Russia, UN, Iran and Pakistan. Taliban, however have consistently refused to hold direct talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s so-called puppet government.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had on Monday said that President Trump wants forces reduced in Afghanistan by the next Presidential elections. Pompeo’s comments come at a time when Afghanistan also prepares for a presidential election of its own in September.

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