Published: Tue, September 03, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

U.S. envoy meets with Afghan president in Kabul

U.S. envoy meets with Afghan president in Kabul

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has been briefed on a draft of the accord and will look at details of the deal before giving an opinion, his spokesman said on Monday.

Zalmay Khalilzad has spent about a year meeting with the Taliban in Doha in a series of talks aimed at ending America s 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.

Many Afghan government officials have resented the exclusion of the government from the U.S. -Taliban talks, an issue that was underlined when Ghani was not allowed to keep a text of the draft agreement after it was shown to him.

"The efforts of the United States and other partners will yield results when the Taliban enters direct negotiations with the Afghan government", Ghani's spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told reporters on Monday.

President Trump, who has long talked about ending the war in Afghanistan, said last week that he plans to reduce the number of troops in the war-torn country from 14,000 to 8,600.

Khalilzad gave no main points of the deal, which is predicted to peer 1000's of United States troops withdrawn from Afghanistan in trade for promises by means of the Taliban to not permit the rustic for use as a base for rebellion assaults in a foreign country.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid made similar claims of killing scores of security forces here.

Khalilzad over the weekend stated the USA and the Taliban are "at the threshold of an agreement" - whilst fighting between the crowd and govt forces in northern Afghanistan intensified. The Taliban had launched a multi-fronted attack on Saturday in its bid to take over Kunduz, to mark its comeback in Afghanistan.

The official added that "if and when we are able to announce an agreement, the process will pivot to intra-Afghan negotiations where the Taliban will sit with other Afghans and together they will commit to a permanent and comprehensive cease-fire".

20 troops and 56 Taliban fighters have been reported killed there so far, with no sign of the Taliban giving up on the attack. The convention on Sunday said the Taliban was cleared from this town, but a few fighters had fled to Baghlan.

"In a way we are thankful that the Taliban accepted what they were told", he said.

The Taliban's spokesman in Doha Suhail Shaheen said on Saturday that a deal "is near to finalised" but did not specify what obstacles remain to its conclusion. Violence continued in Kunduz on Monday as a suicide bomber targeted a police checkpoint and killed at least four officers and wounded 17 people, including 10 civilians, said provincial health director Esanullah Fazeli.

"However, we can tell you 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".

About 20,000 foreign troops, a lot of them American, are now in Afghanistan as part of a USA -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with the media. Some Afghan officials object to that as they see it according the insurgents an equivalent status to the country's internationally recognized government.

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