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The Taliban say that the agreement with the US is near: “We hope to have good news soon”

August 28, 2019

KABUL, Aug. 28 (Reuters / EP) –

The Taliban have said Wednesday that they are close to an agreement with the United States under which US forces would withdraw from Afghanistan in exchange for the promise by the insurgent group that the country will not become a refuge for terrorists.

Negotiations on how to end 18 years of war in Afghanistan have been held in Doha, the capital of Qatar, since 2018. The ninth round began last week.

“We hope to have good news for our Muslim nation seeking independence,” said Suhail Shahin, a spokesman for the Taliban political office in Doha.

Two sources aware of the negotiations have indicated that the US special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, who heads the talks, plans to move to Kabul to inform Afghan President Ashraf Ghani about the agreement.

A senior security official in Kabul has indicated that the Taliban and US officials have agreed on a 14-24 month timetable for the withdrawal of US troops. Details will be shared with the Afghan government before they are made public, he said.