US reaches agreement with Taliban

An agreement on paper has been reached in principle with the Taliban, top U.S. peace negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Monday.

In an interview with Afghanistan’s Tolo News, he said the U.S. forces would vacate five military bases in Afghanistan in initial 135 days after signing of the deal.

He added the U.S. President Donald Trump will decide where and at what level the deal will be signed between the officials from the two sides i.e. Taliban and the U.S.

He added door has been opened for peace talks among the Afghans after failure to win the war and intensified clashes.

Khalilzad said the return of the ”Emirate” (Taliban’s regime 1996 – 2001) is not acceptable to the U.S. and Washington wants a government in Afghanistan formed through negotiations.

Over the weekend, the U.S. and Taliban announced to have concluded the latest round of marathon peace talks in Doha, Qatar.

”We are at the threshold of an agreement [with the Taliban]”, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, said early Sunday morning as he left Doha for Kabul.

”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 & sustainable peace and a unified, sovereign Afghanistan that does not threaten the United States, its allies, or any other country”, the Afghanistan-born seasoned U.S. diplomat tweeted on Sunday.

This comes days after the Taliban stormed Baghlan and Kunduz provinces in the north killing over 200 people, mostly Taliban militants, security forces and civilians in past two days, according to officials.