‘US seeks lasting, honourable peace deal in Afghanistan’

Cheryl Sanders
August 12, 2019

An agreement would allow U.S. President Donald Trump to achieve his aim of ending a war launched in the days after the September 11, 2001 al Qaeda attacks on the United States.

An Afghan security personnel stands guard at the site where a Taliban vehicle bomb detonated at the entrance of a police station in Kabul.

Taliban and United States negotiators have wrapped up their latest round of talks for a deal that would see America shrink its troop presence in Afghanistan, both sides said Monday.

"It was long and useful, both sides chose to consult with their leaders/seniors for the next steps", Mujahid said in a statement.

Taliban political spokesman, Suhail Shaheen had said before the start of the talks that a deal was expected to follow the eighth round of their year-long dialogue with Americans.

He made no statements on the outcome of the talks.

"I hope this is the last Eid where #Afghanistan is at war".

The US and the Taliban are expected to agree on the withdrawal of some 20,000 US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in return for Taliban assurances that Afghanistan would not be a base for other extremist groups.

However, both Daesh's affiliate and al Qaeda remain active in the country. The attack killed 14 people and wounded 145, majority civilians.

The Taliban have continued to stage near-daily attacks across Afghanistan despite the months of negotiations with the U.S. The attacks mainly target Afghan forces and government officials but also kill many civilians.

US officials didn't immediately comment.

On Sunday, Khalilzad tweeted: "I hope this is the last Eid where Afghanistan is at war", referring to the holiday now being observed across the Muslim world.

President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday appeared to question the talks, saying his nation would decide its future, not outsiders. "Our future fate will not be decided in foreign countries. the future and fate of this country will be decided here in Afghanistan", he added. "We don't want a peace that would cause our people to leave their country".

"After so many years of conflict here in Afghanistan, we now see the prospect to make real progress toward to a settlement that will bring peace", US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass said in an Eid message to Afghans.

Ghani made the comments during the Muslim holiday Eid-al-Adha, while U.S. and Taliban negotiators continue to work towards the peace deal in the Gulf nation of Qatar, where the insurgents have a political office. More than 2,400 U.S. service personnel have died in Afghanistan since then.

The US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formally concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014.

Other reports by iNewsToday