US envoy to Afghanistan: significant progress in negotiations with the Taliban[/rtl]
[rtl]Editorial date: 2019/1/27 9:06 • 74 times read[/rtl]
The US envoy to negotiate with the Taliban confirmed that the two sides have made remarkable progress during the ongoing round in Qatar to end the conflict between Washington and the Afghan Taliban movement, which has been going on for 17 years.
In a number of Twitter posts, Zalmay Khalilzad said the six-day negotiations "were more productive than any previous negotiations between the two parties."
Khalilzad said he was on his way to the Afghan capital of Kabul to consult with the Afghan government on the outcome of the negotiations.
"We will build on the momentum and we will resume the talks soon, we still have a number of issues to work on," he wrote on Twitter.
Khalilzad did not give further details. But among the proposals put forward, the United States withdrew its troops in return for assurances from the Taliban not to harbor any foreign extremists, the first reason for the US invasion of Afghanistan.
For its part, the Taliban said that there is progress in the negotiations already, but there are still more rounds on the outstanding issues, which also confirmed Khalilzad.
The Taliban refuse to engage in direct negotiations with the Afghan government, which it considers to be "a collection of puppets in the hands of Washington."
The movement insists on not starting negotiations with Kabul until the agreement on the full withdrawal of US troops from the country and set a date for it.
"They agreed on some items with Washington to include them in the final agreement," Taliban officials said.
One of the clauses underscores the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan within 18 months of signing the deal in exchange for Taliban guarantees that al Qaeda and the Islamic state would not be allowed to use Afghan territory to launch attacks against the United States.
The two sides also agreed to exchange prisoners and lift the travel ban imposed by the United States on Taliban leaders.
Taliban power and military capacity have been rising in Afghanistan since most foreign combat troops withdrew in 2014.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said 45,000 soldiers had been killed in the country since he took office in 2014.
It is estimated that about 15 million people, half of the population in Afghanistan either live in areas controlled by the Taliban or where the elements are unrestricted And routinely launch attacks there.
At the end of last year, American media reported that the administration in Washington plans to withdraw 7,000 troops from its 14,000 troops in Afghanistan.
Some analysts and experts warned that the move could give the Taliban a major victory to use in propaganda against Washington