WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban are close to concluding a deal that would reduce violence and pave the way for Afghans to sit down to negotiate a lasting peace, the US envoy to Afghanistan said on Tuesday, after the ninth round of negotiations ended in Doha.
The US envoy - an Afghan born - today to the Afghan capital of Kabul to brief the political leadership of the country on the latest rounds of negotiations with the Taliban, which took place in the Qatari capital Doha.
"We are on the threshold of an agreement that will reduce violence and open the door for Afghans to sit down together to negotiate an honorable and sustainable peace and a united, sovereign Afghanistan that does not threaten the United States, its allies or any other country," Khalilzad said in a tweet on Twitter.
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shahin said the agreement with Washington was coming soon, adding that the two sides were in the process of discussing the final touches on technical issues after the current rounds of talks were successfully completed. The two sides have been negotiating for about a year.
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The demands of the parties
Above all, Washington wants assurances from the Taliban that Afghan territory will not be used for attacks against America or its allies. While the movement focuses on ensuring the withdrawal of all US-led foreign forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban refuse to enter into direct dialogue with the Afghan government until after the agreement with Washington is signed.
The expected agreement between the Taliban and Washington will not end the fighting between the movement and the Afghan security forces, but will begin after what is known as peace talks between Afghan forces, which is expected to be held in the Norwegian capital Oslo.
Last month, the Qatari capital hosted a meeting of Afghan parties to overcome their differences.
Some Taliban officials have said they will agree to talks with Afghan officials only in their personal capacity, not as state representatives, and they still oppose the September 28 presidential election.
There are more than 20,000 foreign troops, mostly US troops, on Afghan soil as part of a NATO-led mission to train and assist Afghan forces. US forces also have a separate mission to combat terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda. .