Taliban and US close to finalizing peace deal

Published By ITCT News Desk On : August 29, 2019
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Taliban political office spokesperson Suhail Shaheen

The Taliban on Wednesday said the group is close to finalizing the peace agreement with the US officials in the ninth round of their talks in Doha.

A spokesman of the group, Suhail Shaheen, said on Twitter that the talks will continue today, Wednesday, as well, and that they are nearing to the final agreement.

“We hope to have good news soon for our Muslim and independence-seeking nation,” Mr. Shaheen said.

The US and the Taliban negotiators continue their ninth round of talks in Doha, Qatar, over the past seven days, with the hope to seize an agreement which will support withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.

This comes as the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington is not seeking a permanent military presence in Afghanistan as the Taliban says they are close to finalizing a peace agreement with the United States.

Addressing comrades and veterans at the American Legion’s 101st National Convention in Washington on Tuesday, Mr. Pompeo said no one knows how the peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan will end.

But he clarified that the US President Donald Trump has committed to make sure that “we get it right”.

“America has never sought a permanent military presence in Afghanistan. And all sides recognize the time to move on. So for a year and continuing today we continue to work to get clear-eyed engagement with all Afghans. We don’t know how these efforts towards peace and reconciliation will end but President Trump is committed to making sure that we get it right,” Mr. Pompeo said.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said on Thursday that U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan were being reduced to 8,600 but that American forces would remain in the country even if Washington reaches an agreement with the Taliban to end the 18-year war.

The US and the Taliban have held nine rounds of negotiations in which they have mainly discussed four issues: US forces withdrawal, counterterrorism assurances, a ceasefire and intra-Afghan negotiations.

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