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'US, Taliban to sign deal in few days'

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In this file photo taken on July 8, 2019, Mohammad Nabi Omari (C-L), a Taliban member formerly held by the US at Guantanamo Bay and reportedly released in 2014 in a prisoner exchange, Taliban negotiator Abbas Stanikzai (C-R), and former Taliban intelligence deputy Mawlawi Abdul Haq Wasiq (R) walk with another Taliban member during the second day of the Intra Afghan Dialogue talks in the Qatari capital Doha.

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Kabul: A former Taliban member has said that an agreement between the US and the militant group would be finalised within the next few days.

Abdul Salam Zaeef, who served as Taliban's ambassador for Pakistan in the late 1990s, said that the deputy leader of the group, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will sign the peace agreement with the US, reported TOLO News.

Zaeef said the US negotiators wanted to mention in the agreement that the Taliban will not have any relations with terrorist groups after the peace agreement.

The ninth round of the negotiations began in Doha on Thursday.

Zaeef said the US and the Taliban have agreed on a full withdrawal of foreign forces in 15 to 24 months and on counterterrorism assurances.

"It will be in contravention of the agreement if the US forces remain in the country after a peace deal," Zaeef said, referring to reports about a possible presence of the US intelligence in Afghanistan even after it pulls all American troops by 2020.

According to the former ambassador, China, Russia and Pakistan will be the guarantors of the agreement from the Taliban side, reports TOLO News.

Zaeef said that the intra-Afghan negotiations will begin a week after the US-Taliban peace agreement.

He, however, did not reject the existence of rift within the Afghan groups. "The future of Afghanistan will be discussed in the intra-Afghan negotiations," Zaeef said.

This comes as the Afghan government has said that the list of the peace negotiating team was ready and that it will be announced after an agreement between the US and the Taliban.

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