Doha dialogue: US admits troops to be withdrawn 'soon' from Afghanistan

Published: January 26, 2019
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Taliban also agree not to let al Qaeda and Islamic State operate in the war-torn country. PHOTO: AFP

Taliban also agree not to let al Qaeda and Islamic State operate in the war-torn country. PHOTO: AFP

The United States, in recent rounds of dialogue with the Afghan Taliban, has accepted that American troops would soon withdraw from the war-torn country, according to a Tolo News report that cites sources familiar with the ongoing Doha talks.

The development came on the fifth day of US-Taliban talks in Qatar on Friday, with discussions set to continue as the dialogue enters its sixth day on Saturday.

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According to details, the Taliban have agreed not to let al-Qaeda and the militant Islamic State (IS) operate in Afghanistan.

US officials have been pushing for a ceasefire but the Taliban have demanded a timeline for the withdrawal of American troops from the war-torn country.

The Afghan publication also stated that the Taliban have sought assurances from Washington that America’s withdrawal would pose no threat for regional countries.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad continued to urge the Taliban to initiate dialogue with Kabul, saying that the talks should be aimed at reforms and not to demand Taliban control over Afghanistan.

The Taliban, however, have not responded to Khalilzad’s call.

Diplomatic efforts to end America’s longest-running conflict intensified in 2017 after the appointment of Khalilzad to lead direct talks with the Taliban.

US-Taliban peace talks raise Afghan hopes as meeting in Qatar enters fourth day

He has held at least four meetings with the Taliban representatives, but there has been no let-up in the violence plaguing Afghanistan.

Abiding fears about how Afghan forces would withstand the Taliban threat without US military support have heightened since reports emerged last year that President Donald Trump wants to bring home almost half of the 14,000 US troops deployed in Afghanistan.

 

This story originally appeared on Tolo News.

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