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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightTaliban close to reach ...

Taliban 'close' to reach peace deal with US

Taliban close to reach peace deal with US

Doha: The Taliban militant group on Wednesday said they were close to reach an agreement with the US as the two sides continued their negotiations in Qatar on peace in Afghanistan.

"Negotiations will continue today. We are close to an agreement. We hope to bring good news for our Muslim and freedom seeking nation soon," tweeted Suhail Shaheen, the spokesperson of Taliban's political office in Qatar.

The English version of the original tweet, which was in Pashto, was shared by Taliban spokesperson in Afghanistan, Zabihullah Mujahid, on the same social networking platform.

US officials and leaders of Afghan Taliban are currently holding peace talks in the Qatari capital.

In February 2018, the Taliban's political office in Doha urged Washington to take part in a "direct" dialogue.

Months later on October 12, US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalizad and representatives of the insurgents met for the first time since the 2001 US invasion that marked the fall of the Taliban regime.

Since then, there have been nine rounds of dialogue in the Persian Gulf and even a couple of intra-Afghan meetings, one with officials of President Ashraf Ghani's government, who attended the meeting in their "personal capacity".

The Taliban have insisted they will not talk with the government in Kabul until there was an agreement with the US for the withdrawal of its troops from the country.

The first and only official meeting between the two Afghan parties took place in 2015 in Pakistan. But the process was suspended days after news broke out about the death of the founder of the Taliban movement, Mullah Omar, who had died two years earlier.

In the run-up to an imminent pact with Washington that would pave way for an intra-Afghan dialogue, Kabul already has announced a 15-member negotiating team. Although the names have not been made public, it is believed to include representatives of all ethnic, social and political groups.

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