September 2, 2019|10: 33 am|UpdatedSeptember 2, 2019 11: 37 am
The US envoy on Monday showed Afghanistan’s leaders the draft of an agreement between the US and the Taliban after proclaiming they were on the “threshold” of a deal to end America’s longest war.
Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-born diplomat, met with President Ashraf Ghani on Monday following an initial sitdown with him on Sunday after completing a ninth round of talks in Qatar with Taliban officials, said presidential adviser Waheed Omer.
Khalilzad is meeting with Afghan leadership in Kabul to build a consensus for the deal.
“We are at the threshold of an agreement that will reduce violence and open the door for Afghans to sit together to negotiate an honorable and sustainable peace and a unified, sovereign Afghanistan that does not threaten the United States, its allies, or any other country, ”Khalilzad said on Twitter late Sunday.
The talks to end the 18 -year-old war have continued even as Taliban forcescarried out attacks in two Afghan citiesover the weekend, killing civilians and security forces.
The Taliban, who want the US and NATO to withdraw the estimated 20, 000 troops stationed in Afghanistan, over the weekend heralded their win.
“We are on the verge of ending the invasion and reaching a peaceful solution for Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said.
The US wants to guarantee that the insurgent group will not allow extremist groups to set up bases in Afghanistan where they could launch terror attacks as Osama bin Laden did on 9 / 11.
A US official told the Associated Press that “any potential peace deal will not be based on blind trust, but will instead contain clear commitments that are subject to our monitoring and verification.”
President Trump, who has long talked about ending the war in Afghanistan, said last week that heplans to reduce the number of troopsin the war-torn country from 14, 000 to 8, 600.
Further draw-downs could come, depending on whether a peace deal is reached with the Taliban.
“We’re going down to 8, 600 and then we’ll make a determination from there, ”Trump told (Fox News Radio) .
He did not offer a timetable for the withdrawal.
With wire services