United States and Taliban agree draft framework for Afghanistan peace deal

United States and Taliban agree draft framework for Afghanistan peace deal

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters Monday that the usa talks with the Taliban were "encouraging", but when asked if he had been "tasked to be prepared for a full withdrawal", he replied, "I have not".

In return for an American troop pullout, the USA wants the Taliban to agree to a ceasefire and to negotiate directly with the government of Afghanistan.

"We need to get a stable Afghanistan as an entity that can ensure security of America and Europe and others on the one hand, but more fundamentally our own democratic rights and institutions and our right to live in peace and harmony", Ghani told CNN's Fareed Zakaria.

"Our commitment is to provide peace and to prevent any possible disaster", he said.

"There are values that are not disputable, such as national unity, national sovereignty and territorial integrity".

Like a variety of other Afghans, Nadery expressed concern that American officials, in their eagerness to reach a settlement and bring home USA troops, would squander their leverage to force the Taliban to honor any pledge to share power or respect the democratic institutions and norms that have evolved since the fall of Taliban rule in 2001. The US invaded Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.

"We are committed to ensuring peace", he said.

In a statement after the talks with the USA ended Saturday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgency's position on the issue was clear.

Both the Taliban and the United States cited "progress" over the weekend as hopes rise that the length of the negotiations could mean a deal may be in sight which paves the way for Afghan talks.

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The talks between US' Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban ignite hopes of a breakthrough in the conflict.

However with the withdrawal of U.S. troops seen as part of the deal, fears are rising about what an American exit could mean for Afghanistan, with security forces taking staggering losses, the government facing election upheaval, and civilians paying a disproportionate price after almost two decades of bloodshed.

During his address, Ghani noted that USA and other foreign forces remain in the country because they are still needed. The reports came in the wake of US President Donald Trump's announcement regarding his intention to pull US troops out of Syria since, according to him, the Daesh terrorists had been defeated.

Meanwhile, former Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor says Afghanistan has inched closer towards peace and that they demand the country's leaders, Ghani in particular, prevent "anger and emotional reaction" as it is not in favor of the country. Many Americans will applaud this "progress" as one step closer to bringing the 14,000 American troops now deployed in Afghanistan home.

The comments by special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to the New York Times are the clearest signal yet from a United States official that talks between Washington and the terrorists are progressing, igniting hopes of a breakthrough in the grinding 17-year conflict.

Afghans want to see an end to the ongoing crisis, he said, adding no Afghan likes to witness suicide bomb attacks in mosques, parks or other places that claim the lives of people.

The Taliban have so far refused to meet directly with the Kabul administration, which has been a sticking point in the negotiations so far.

Afghan security forces are already taking staggering losses, with 45,000 killed since late 2014, and morale is low.

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