The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation on Tuesday wrapped up his marathon talks with the Taliban representatives in Doha with “lots of progress” on four key issues under debate in the negotiations.
The four issues which have been discussed by the US and the Taliban negotiators in the seven rounds of talks are counterterrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, a ceasefire and intra-Afghan talks.
The seventh round of talks between the US and the Taliban in Doha was started on June 29 and were paused for two days on July 7 and 8 due to the intra-Afghan conference in Doha.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Khalilzad said that he met with the Taliban in Qatar and headed to China. From there, he said, he will return to Washington “to consult and report” on the Afghan peace process.
“When there is no threat from Afghanistan against the US and when the Afghans do not want the Americans to stay, we are going to leave Afghanistan from a military point of view. But we want to have good relations with Afghanistan in the future,” Khalilzad told reporters. “We have hope, we are optimistic.”
Taliban’s chief negotiator Abbas Stanekzai told reporters in Doha on Monday that disagreements between the two sides have ended and a draft agreement will be signed in the near future.
“We do not have any disagreement with Americans,” Stanekzai said. “Only there is the draft [agreement] which needs to be finalized. When it is finalized, we will share it with media,” said Stanekzai.
Impacts of Intra-Afghan Conference in Doha
The outcomes of the intra-Afghan conference in Doha in which 60 delegates from Kabul and 17 Taliban representatives attended met with optimism by many Afghan critics in Kabul.
“The conference can help the future talks between the Americans and the Taliban because the Taliban has recognized the demands and aspirations of the Afghan people,” said Shahnaz Ghawsi, a lawmaker.
“We hope that they [Taliban] demonstrate the flexibility of their words they in their action,” said political analyst Mohammad Natiqi.
The participants of the intra-Afghan conference in Doha issued a resolution in which they the Taliban promised to reduce violence by stopping attacks on “religious centers, schools, hospitals, educational centers, bazaars, water dams and workplaces”.