US and Taliban delegates in Qatar are working out the terms for a reduction in violence as part of ongoing peace talks, and sources familiar with the talks say the United States has recently made several new demands with the reduction in violence plan.
One of the demands, according to these sources, is that the reduction in violence should be long-term.
Previously, sources had said that the two sides had agreed on a plan to reduce the violence from seven to ten days.
Mujib Rahimi, Chief Executive Abdullah's spokesman, said that the US special envoy for Afghan peace, Zalmay Khalilzad, during his recent trip to Kabul said he had submitted proposals to the Taliban to extend the duration of the reduction in violence.
“Mr. Khalilzad was hopeful during his trip and thought the Taliban were ready for more serious discussions, and that the Taliban's plans were at an unacceptable level to (the US side) in terms of reducing violence. (Khalilzad said) we have put forward more conditions and are waiting for the Taliban to respond,” said Rahimi.
Although progress in Qatar's peace process is going slow, the Pakistani ambassador to Kabul Zahid Nasrullah Khan said on Wednesday that "failure is not an option."
“I think that failure in the peace process is not an option. This is not an optimistic issue, but it is a matter of peace and security for our Afghan brothers and sisters who have actually endured a lot of suffering and this war must end,” said Khan.
Meanwhile, some former members of the Taliban group said today at a meeting in Kabul that the United States and the Taliban are close to signing a peace agreement and that reducing violence is an "unofficial ceasefire."
“A reduction in violence is an 'informal ceasefire,' and we call on the government to reduce violence too,” said Sayed Mohammad Akbar Agha, the former leader of the Taliban's Jaish-al-Muslimeen (Army of Muslims).
“The peace agreement will be signed, and these problems ahead of peace process will not prevent the agreement from being signed,” said Mawlawi Qalamuddin, a member of the former Taliban regime.
On Wednesday, US President Trump had spoken of continuing peace talks with the Taliban, and stating his intention that America's longest war would end and that US troops would return home.