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Taliban spokesman: ‘We have discussed future steps with Americans’

AT News

KABUL: The Taliban’s spokesman in Doha said the insurgent group has discussed the next steps for peace negotiations with Americans in their Monday parleys.

Suhail Shaheen said in a tweet on Monday that their negotiations with Americans continued till late Monday with presence of the US special envoy for Afghanistan peace Zalmay Khalilzad and commander of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan Scott Miller.

The militant group was represented by Mullah Ghani Baradar, Abbas Istanikzai, and Mawlawi Amir Khan Mufti, Shaheen said, adding that talks will continue to discuss the issues in depth.

The Taliban had earlier claimed they had discussed with Americans about peace agreement – a deal which is seen as a tool for conciliation of the Taliban and persuading them to enter a dialogue with Kabul.

The core issues discussed in the 11th round of negotiations in Doha, according US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, fall in the sphere of reduction of violence and ceasefire. The Taliban had also said they had put forward their plan for violence reduction last week – a plan which has faced a thunderous rant in Kabul. The Afghan government has touted the violence reduction plan as ‘unfeasible’ and rather presses on with a necessity for ceasefire. The presidential palace has warned negotiations to resuscitate peace will be on a sticky wicket without the Taliban’s assent for ceasefire.

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