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Khalilzad to Taliban: We seek a comprehensive peace agreement, not withdrawal

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Peace, Zalmay Khalilzad said in reaction to Taliban’s tweets over a withdrawal agreement, said that the United States sought “a comprehensive peace agreement, not a withdrawal agreement”.

Suhail Shaheenb, Spokesman for Taliban’s Political Office in Qatar had earlier tweeted that the United States had “agreed to pull its troops out of Afghanistan during peace talks.”

Khalilzad in his Tweeter account said that: “As we prepare for the next round of talks with the Taliban, important to remember we seek a comprehensive peace agreement, not a withdrawal agreement.”

 “As I have said on numerous occasions, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”

“A comprehensive peace agreement is made up of four inter-connected parts: counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan negotiations that lead to a political settlement; and a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire. This is a framework which the Taliban accept,” he added.

The U.S. troop withdrawal is one of important issues that U.S.-Taliban talks focused on. Taliban in response, are said to guarantee that Afghanistan would not be used again by international terrorist networks to threaten the US and its allies’ security.

Since September 2018, Mr. Khalilzad had six rounds of the talks with the Taliban, but the group refused to meet the Afghan government and also did not announce ceasefire.

As peace talks heat up, widespread combat between the government forces and the Taliban insurgents continues across the country. Amid ongoing peace talks and progress in the aspect between USA delegation and the Taliban this group last month announced its spring offensive under the name of Al-Fath across country, where the bloodshed claims lives of dozens each day.

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