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Unable to make progress, US, Taliban meet again today

Unable to make progress, US, Taliban meet again today

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Jan 23, 2019 - 10:12

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): US and Talibaninfo-icon representatives are meeting again in Doha today (Wednesday) in an effort to achieve badly-needed progress on key issues including foreign forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistaninfo-icon.   

Two days of negotiations between Taliban and US delegations ended on a sterile note on Tuesday. In a bid to move forward on critical matters, the negotiators agreed to extend the parleys by a , a media report said on Wednesday.  .

The News International quoted Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid as saying that the latest round of lengthy talks with the American team, led by special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, yielded no concrete result.

Withdrawal of US forces, formation of an interim government and lifting of the travel ban on Taliban leaders came up for discussion at the meeting, unnamed Taliban representatives told the newspaper.

The US sought guarantees from the Taliban that Afghanistan’s soil would not be used against any other country, particularly against the US, in future.

One Taliban source privy to the discussion said they felt US officials were yet to come up with clear answers to two major demands -- withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan and lifting of the ban on the movement of rebel leaders.

He added the US feared Afghanistan might again become a hotbed of foreign insurgents after the pullout of international troops. “But we assured them Afghanistan won’t become a stronghold of foreign militants,”

Taliban’s Qatar-based political office head Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai was accompanied by Mullahinfo-icon Abdul Salam Hanafi, Sohail Shaheen, Mullah Mohammad Fazil, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, Qari Din Mohammad and Mullah Shahabuddin Dilawar represented the militant group.

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