KABUL - The US Department of State said the Taliban in talks with the US negotiators have agreed that peace will require both sides to fully address four core issues, including counterterrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue, and a comprehensive ceasefire.
“We’ve received reports back from Special Representative Khalilzad that they’ve had meaningful progress,” Robert Palladino, the State Department’s deputy spokesperson, told reporters at a daily briefing in Washington on Tuesday, TOLO News has reported.
He said that in the fresh round of talks, the two sides were able to move to agreement in draft on the first two principles.
“In this round of talks, we were able to move to agreement in draft on the first two principles, counterterrorism assurances and troop withdrawal. And when that agreement in draft is finalized, Taliban and an inclusive Afghan negotiating team that includes the Afghan government and other Afghans to begin intra-Afghan negotiation for a political settlement and a comprehensive ceasefire,” he added.
Hours after the news broke on Qatar talks, US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said in a tweet that he wrapped up a marathon round of talks with Taliban in Doha.
Khalilzad said peace requires agreement on four issues: counterterrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue, and a comprehensive ceasefire.
“In January talks, we “agreed in principle” on these four elements. We’re now “agreed in draft” on the first two,” he said in a tweet.
He said the conditions for peace have improved and that it is clear all sides want to end the war. “Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real strides,” he said.
Khalilzad said when the agreement in draft about a withdrawal timeline and effective counterterrorism measures is finalized, the Taliban and other Afghans, including the government, will begin intra-Afghan negotiations on a political settlement and comprehensive ceasefire.