US envoy says 'real strides' made in Afghan Taliban talks

By AFP
Published: March 12, 2019
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United States Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad says conditions for peace in Afghanistan have improved. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

United States Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad says conditions for peace in Afghanistan have improved. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

DOHA: US and Afghan Taliban negotiators wrapped up their latest round of marathon peace talks on Tuesday with “real strides” made but no agreement on a timetable for troop withdrawal, the US special envoy said.

“Just finished a marathon round of talks with the Taliban in #Doha. The conditions for #peace have improved. It’s clear all sides want to end the war. Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real strides,” Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted.

Khalilzad said the next step would be discussions in Washington, adding that “there is no final agreement until everything is agreed.”

The talks focused on the withdrawal of US troops and assurances that insurgents would not use Afghanistani territory to stage future attacks.

“Progress was achieved regarding both these issues,” said a Taliban spokesperson.

“For now, both sides will deliberate over the achieved progress, share it with their respective leaderships and prepare for the upcoming meeting.”

It is unclear as yet when the next round of talks will take place.
The talks spanned 16 days, which is thought to be the longest consecutive discussions held between both sides.

There are some 14,000 US troops currently based in Afghanistan.

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