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US withdrawal based on international guarantee

AT News Report

KABUL: Head of Taliban negotiating team in Qatar talks, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai says if the guarantor states agree to play their roles, the US would pull its troops out of Afghanistan.

Stanakzai told a Japanese news outlet on Friday that Japan and some other Asian countries could be good guarantors in addition to the European Union, urging that the soon the withdrawal was finalized, more progress would be gained for peace.

He also expressed readiness to hold talks with President Ghani’s government once agreement with Washington was done.

Stanakzai warned Taliban would continue attacks on foreign soldiers if a peace agreement was not deal before Afghan presidential elections.

The presidential race is slated for September 28, with President Ghani emphasizing on a timely election which no other element could stop or postpone.

“If the European Union, regional countries including Japan play the role of guarantor, the US is ready to withdraw from Afghanistan, but if the peace agreement is not gained before the election, our attacks will continue against Afghan and foreign forces,” he said.

He assured that Taliban would talk on a long ceasefire and end of war with the Afghan government just after getting deal with the US.

“Based on our peace offer, if our agreements with the US are final, then we will hold talks with the Afghan government and politicians in the framework of intra-Afghan dialogue.”

The comments come while a top US military official has warned against a premature withdrawal as a big mistake.

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