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US-Taliban Latest Round of Talks Inconclusive

Tuesday 13 August 2019
US-Taliban Latest Round of Talks Inconclusive

Alwaght- The latest round of US-Taliban so-called peace talks in the Qatari capital, Doha, have ended without agreement, the Afghan militant group said.

The eighth round of the negotiations, which began on August 3 and focused on technical details, ended after midnight in the early hours of Monday.

"We prolonged our meeting with the hope of reaching a peace agreement but it could not happen," said a member of the Taliban negotiating team.

"We discussed a number of issues and developed consensus on some of them but couldn't reach a conclusion."

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a posting on Twitter that what went on in Doha "was tedious & effective."

"Both sides agreed to consult their respective leaderships for next steps."

American negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad said via a similar medium that the talks "were productive" and he was on his way back to Washington for consultations.

Neither side said when the talks would resume.

On Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, whose administration has been left out of the talks between the US and the Taliban, said only Afghans had to decide their fate not outside powers even if they were allies. The president said peace was only possible with an agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

The Taliban, which now controls or has influence in about half of Afghanistan’s territory, has held several rounds of direct talks with US officials in the Qatari capital since October. The militants say they do not recognize the government in Kabul.

The ongoing negotiations take place nearly 18 years after the US military invaded Afghanistan to overthrow a ruling Taliban regime. 

About 20,000 foreign troops, mostly Americans, are based in Afghanistan. 

The exit of foreign troops from Afghanistan is a condition set by the Taliban to extend the talks.

 

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