US, Taliban talks end for now with no Afghan peace deal
DOHA: US and Taliban negotiators wrapped up their longest round of peace talks on Tuesday with progress made but no agreement on when foreign troops might withdraw, officials from both sides said.
The 16 days of talks, in which the United States also sought assurances that the Taliban would not allow militant groups to use Afghanistan to stage attacks, are expected to resume in late March.
The negotiations in Doha, Qatar included the Taliban`s political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and a U.S. team led by special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.
Khalilzad, an Afghan-born veteran U.S. diplomat, said the sides made progress on discussions about counter-terrorism assurances and a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“The conditions for peace have improved. It`s clear all sides want to end the war. Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real strides,” Khalilzad said on Twitter.
The Taliban have held multiple rounds of peace talks with the American team led by Khalilzad but have so far refused to talk to the Afghan government.
“When the agreement in draft about a withdrawal timeline and effective counter-terrorism measures is finalised, the Taliban and other Afghans, including the government, will begin intra-Afghan negotiations on a political settlement and comprehensive ceasefire,” Khalilzad said.