AT News Report
KABUL: The seventh round of negotiations began Saturday between the US envoy for Afghanistan peace Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
Sources close to the militants said that subjects of the past six rounds of talks would be agenda for the current round. Taliban urge on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, while American diplomats reportedly seek a guarantee that the country would not become once again as a base for international terrorist organizations to threaten security in the world.
The sources called the seventh round of talks as “decisive”, warning of an intensification of the war if the two sides failed to reach a deal.
Taliban have already escalated attacks on Afghan and foreign troops, with storming security checkpoints in the northern Baghlan province that killed at least 26 forces as the fresh one.
Both sides state that progresses were made, but nothing was finalized. Taliban are optimistic to reaching a final in this round.
The US also emphasizes on direct talks between Taliban and Ghani administration that the insurgents have so far rejected. A ceasefire is another part of the agenda.
Political analysts say that war in Afghanistan would get prolong if the seventh round of talks ended without any agreement.
Members of parliament also express optimism to the seventh round of talks, saying the two parties would highly likely reach a deal.
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said this week in a visit to Kabul that a deal would be made before September, when the presidential elections are planned to be held.