US and Taliban negotiators wrapped up their latest round of marathon peace talks on Tuesday with “real strides” made but no agreement on a timetable for troop withdrawal, the US special envoy said.
“Just finished a marathon round of talks with the Taliban in #Doha. The conditions for #peace have improved. It’s clear all sides want to end the war. Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real strides,” Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted.
He added: “Peace requires agreement on four issues: counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue, and a comprehensive ceasefire.”
He said there was agreement “in draft” on the first two issues.
Khalilzad added the next step would be discussions in Washington, but warned that “there is no final agreement until everything is agreed”.
The talks in Doha focused on the withdrawal of US troops and assurances that insurgents would not use Afghanistan’s territory to stage future terrorist attacks — one of the initial aims of American policy in the wake of the 9/11 attacks back in 2001.
“Progress was achieved regarding both these issues,” said a Taliban spokesman.
“For now, both sides will deliberate over the achieved…