No deal announced as U.S. and Taliban wrap up peace talks

Elias Hubbard
August 13, 2019

Talks on a pact that would allow the U.S. to end its longest war and withdraw troops from Afghanistan ended on Monday without agreement and both sides would consult their leaders on the next steps, the Taliban said.

The magazine also reported that it has learnt from senior Pentagon officials that US personnel have been ordered to limit almost all offensive combat operations against the Taliban and cease advising the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces as the Trump administration proposes cutting USA troop strength in Afghanistan by almost half to 6,000 as a means of finalizing "technical" details among Taliban leadership.

Neither side provided details of the outcome of the discussions in Doha, but U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad called them "productive" and Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid described them as "long and useful".

The withdrawal figure is subject to change, however, depending on the course of the ongoing conflict and the talks trying to end it, USA officials said as quoted by Newsweek.

Without an agreement from the Taliban, US officials believed removing the military presence would give the group free rein to try to overthrow the Afghan government.

An agreement would allow US President Donald Trump to achieve his aim of ending a war launched in the days after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US.

Even as talks were underway, the Taliban continued to carry out attacks across Afghanistan, targeting Afghan forces and government officials. The Taliban refuse to recognise or negotiate with it.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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