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US-Taliban talks to resume Monday

06 May 2019 Afghanistan Times

AT News Report

KABUL: Peace negotiation between US and Taliban members have

entered to its sixth round in Doha of Qatar with four conservative days of

talks ended Sunday; the talks did not hold on Monday on the account of the

first day of Ramadan. The talks will resume today (Tuesday), as fresh spate of

violence grips the country in different fronts including the recent attack on

police headquarters in Pule-e-Khumir city of northern Baghlan province on Sunday

afternoon.

Taliban Qatar office spokesman Sohail Shaheen on his twitter

account said that due to holiday on the first Ramadan their talks were

suspended for a day. He said the talks would resume on Tuesday.

Taking advantage of the break, Khalilzad flew to India to

discuss the Afghan peace process with Indian officials, Pajhwok Afghan News

reported.

Shaheen said in the ongoing round they would try to reach an

agreement on a timeline for withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and

the war on terrorism. He said an agreement on the withdrawal of foreign forces

was essential before discussing other issues.

Earlier, Khalilzad had also said they were inching closer to

an agreement on the two topics, but added nothing would be agreed until all

topics were agreed upon.

Peace talks between U.S. negotiators and Taliban

representatives in Doha, Qatar, have been interrupted to mark the beginning of

Ramadan.

Shaheen told a foreign news agency late Sunday that talks

hit an impasse over when foreign forces would depart Afghanistan.

Washington is demanding that militants establish security

guarantees, a cease-fire, and make other commitments including an

“intra-Afghan” dialogue with the Kabul government and other Afghan

representatives before agreeing to any withdrawal.

The Taliban have said they would not take any of these steps

until the United States announces a withdrawal timeline.

“Currently, the negotiations are in a good phase and they

are moving in the right direction,” said Assadullah Zahiri, a spokesman for High

Peace Council, a body which conducts peace efforts in country-level under the

Afghan government.   

Sources familiar with Doha talks said the gap is narrowing

between the US delegation and the Taliban members on issues around foreign

forces withdrawal and counterterrorism assurances. The sources said the two

sides have managed to overcome the “stalemate” on a timeline for troop

withdrawal at this stage.

Original Link: http://www.afghanistantimes.af/us-taliban-talks-to-resume-monday/

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