‘US seeks lasting, honourable peace deal in Afghanistan’

Khalilzad hopes this will be the 'Last Eid where Afghanistan is at War'

The latest round of talks between the Taliban and the United States on a deal to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has ended.

The U.S. -Taliban agreement, if reached, would outline the insurgent guarantees that Afghan territory, particularly Taliban-controlled areas, will not be used for staging terrorist attacks against America or its allies in exchange for a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. -led foreign troops from the country.

But the United States is pushing for Taliban agreement on two other, more far-reaching elements: power-sharing talks with Afghanistan's US -backed government and a ceasefire.

Washington has said it wants a deal finalized by September 1, and some US officials have hinted at the possibility that the presidential polls scheduled for September 28 could be canceled in the event of a peace settlement and the formation of an interim government that the Taliban would join. "Afghanistan needs to elect a president and to have a new government so it can make powerful and hard peace decisions with full authority and dignity", he said.

The US has been negotiating with its longtime foe over the past year for a pact that would see the Pentagon begin to withdraw its 14,000 troops from Afghanistan.

The U.S. envoy for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad has expressed hopes that this will be the last Eid where Afghanistan is at war.

"The peace will be a nationwide peace, not regional, partisan or ethnic, the peace will be belonging to all Afghans", Ghani said.

An agreement would allow U.S. President Donald Trump to achieve his aim of ending a war launched in the days after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The insurgent group refuses to recognise the Kabul administration as a legitimate entity, calling it a USA puppet.

"Our future can not be decided outside, whether in the capital cities of our friends, nemeses or neighbors".

United States envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is hoping to reach a peace deal by September 1, weeks before Afghanistan's presidential election. "We don't want anyone to intervene in our affairs". "Our future fate will not be decided in foreign countries. the future and fate of this country will be decided here in Afghanistan", he added.

The Taliban has consistently refused to take part in direct talks with the government, which they have labeled a "puppet".

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