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Envoy shares details of US-Taliban draft deal with Afghan president

ANI | Updated: Sep 03, 2019 10:42 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], Sep 3 (ANI): The United States special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has shared "key details" of the US-Taliban draft agreement with President Ashraf Ghani, after almost a year of negotiations with the group.
The president's spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, told reporters on Monday that Khalilzad showed the draft agreement after an initial meeting held in the evening upon his arrival from Qatar, where the ninth round of US-Taliban talks concluded over the weekend, Al Jazeera reported.
The negotiations have focused on the withdrawal of thousands of US troops from Afghanistan in exchange for guarantees by the Taliban not to allow the country to be used as a base for attacks abroad.
Ahead of Monday's press conference, the president's adviser Waheed Omar confirmed Khalilzad's meeting with President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
"He [Khalilzad] has shown a copy of the draft framework agreement between the US and Taliban. We will look into the document and discussions with Amb Khalilzad and team will continue," Omar said in a Twitter post.
The Afghan government has been shut out of the negotiations as the Taliban dismisses it as a "puppet" of the US, but intra-Afghan talks that include the government are meant to follow a US-Taliban deal.
Following the conclusion of the ninth round of peace talks, Khalilzad said that the US and Taliban have reached an agreement "in principle", which now awaits the approval of President Donald Trump.
In an interview to Tolo News, the envoy noted that Washington will withdraw about 5000 troops from five bases in Afghanistan within 135 days if the Taliban meets conditions set in the draft agreement reached upon by the two sides during the latest round of peace talks.
The Taliban on Sunday attacked Pul-e Khumri, the capital of Baghlan province, just a day after hundreds of its fighters overran parts of Kunduz, a strategic city and the capital of the eponymous province that the group has twice come close to taking in recent years.
On Monday, the group said it targetted "foreign forces" in a car bomb explosion in Kabul that claimed the lives of 5 people and injured 50 others. (ANI)

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