Afghans wary over talks with Taliban as United States cites progress

India should encourage Taliban to shun violence and become mainstream in Afghanistan Menon

India should encourage Taliban to shun violence and become mainstream in Afghanistan Menon

In particular, Khalilzad told the New York Times that the two sides had reached an agreement in principle on a framework for a peace deal that would see foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan over a period of 18 months.

The lead US negotiator in the talks told the New York Times on Monday that the talks have resulted in the "framework" of a deal where the Taliban would guarantee that Afghan territory would not be used by terrorists.

The New York Times reported him as saying a peace deal could lead to a full pullout of US troops in exchange for a cease-fire and Taliban talks with the Afghan government.

In a tweet on Monday, Khalilzad said he had briefed Ghani on the "progress we have made" in Doha. "But there are values which are non-negotiable, for example national unity, national sovereignty, territorial integrity, a powerful and competent central government and basic rights of the citizens of the country".

The statement also claims the Taliban demanded from Khalilzad the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan, but that there was no agreement on that.

The US has about 14,000 troops in the country, most of which are present as part of a larger NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces.

Direct U.S. talks with the Taliban began last year, the culmination of sporadic contacts with the insurgent group in recent years. Although the Taliban was not directly involved in the hijacking plot that resulted in attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, its leaders had provided aid and shelter to al-Qaida, including Osama bin Laden.

"Of course we don't seek a permanent military presence in Afghanistan", the official said in the capital Kabul.

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"We are in Afghanistan to create the conditions for a peaceful negotiated solution", Stoltenberg said.

The Taliban has also insisted throughout this process that USA troops leave before a cease-fire is reached, while US and Afghan negotiators want to see a cease-fire before USA troops leave.

Monday's statement quotes Khalilzad as saying he held talks about a cease-fire with the Taliban but that there was no progress yet on that issue. "At the same time, none of the Afghans wants the foreign forces to stay in their country for the long term", he noted.

Western diplomats describe Ghani as being in a tight spot, with no authority to decide on the troop departure and the final decision to declare the ceasefire resting with the Taliban. "What is clear right now he said is that the USA is fed up with the war in Afghanistan and wants an end to it". "This is a democratic time, and they can't take us 20 years back", said Faisal Habibi, 20, an accounting student who was a toddler when the Taliban regime lost power.

American and Taliban officials have agreed to the framework of a peace deal that could lead to an imminent pullout of USA troops from Afghanistan, according to a report.

The group believes that its Islamic government is the only legitimate form of rule in Afghanistan, and that, as Mullah Omar, the Taliban's founder who died in 2013, said, "We have come out for the objective of sacrificing in the path of Allah and establishing the law of the Allah on His servants".

Afghan authorities have warned that any deal between the United States and the Taliban would require Kabul's endorsement.

Afghan security forces are already taking staggering losses, with 45,000 killed since late 2014, and morale is low.

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