Taliban breakthrough appears closer as Ghani reports progress

Deputy of Chief Executive Abdullah Abullah

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A Taliban source in Pakistan told AFP that insurgent and U.S. negotiators would meet again on Wednesday in Doha. "Definitely, progress in the talks involves these issues", TOLO News reported.

Taliban negotiators have told American special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad that they could pause talks if the U.S. side does not sign the long-awaited peace agreement, Taliban officials said on Tuesday.

A United States-Taliban agreement on the "decrease in violence" in Afghanistan is expected to be revealed "very soon", the group's authorities has really stated.

USA officials are also concerned that ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan, ISIS-Khorasan, would take advantage of the agreement by encouraging younger Taliban members to join its fight against the US. They said no additions had been made to the draft. Meanwhile, The Taliban have issued an ultimatum to Washington after weeks of talks with a US peace envoy, demanding a reply on their offer of a seven-day reduction of violence in Afghanistan, or they would walk away from the negotiating table, two Taliban officials said Wednesday.

The Trump administration has pushed for an agreement that would withdraw some of the more than 12,000 USA troops in Afghanistan, but both sides have walked away each time a deal appeared close. A Taliban source said the group had agreed to the proposal.

The contract might result in the settling of a peace deal in in between the United States and the Taliban to end Afghanistan's 18- year war, the United States's longest conflict.

So far, the Taliban have refused to talk to the West-backed government in Kabul, saying they are a "puppet regime".

Norway and Germany have offered to facilitate the inter-Afghan talks, he said.

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"From our side, there will be complete cessation in attacks on the Afghan government and its installations during a certain period of time".

USA military leaders, recognizing that almost two decades of fighting have failed to secure a decisive advantage over the Taliban, have voiced support for a peace deal.

In addition to the Americans, smaller contingents of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops - primarily German and Italian - are also in Afghanistan. "Our top leadership had recently sent a delegation of influential Ulema (religious scholars) to Qatar to get updated about the progress made in the peace talks".

Still, the Taliban would appear to have gotten everything they asked for in this possible deal.

He said their top leadership had nearly lost interest in the peace process and chose to quit the negotiations.

In September, US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad announced that a tentative deal had been reached with the Taliban.

US President Donald Trump has made a withdrawal of the 13,000 US service members in Afghanistan a major foreign policy objective and a pullout accord with the Taleban could boost his re-election prospects this November. Many of our people suspect that the U.S. wanted to divert our attention from our preparations for the spring offensive.

Afghan civilians, however, bear the brunt of the war, which has killed or injured more than 100,000 civilians in the last 10 years alone, according to the United Nations.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Tuesday that the US Secretary of State told him that "remarkable progress, quot; had been made during the ongoing talks between the United States and the Taliban".

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