US envoy hopes for Afghan peace deal by July

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US envoy hopes for Afghan peace deal by July

US peace envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has expressed the hope that a final deal with Taliban will be clinched before Afghanistan's presidential election in July.

Speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, he said although his talks with the Taliban have produced a tentative framework agreement, but negotiations are far from finished.

He called for direct talks to begin between the Taliban and the Afghan government as soon as possible.

Khalilzad said the US is not seeking permanent military bases in Afghanistan and any US troop withdrawal would be dependent on conditions on the ground, and not on any particular timetable.