'US, Taliban on threshold of deal to end 18-year conflict'

Updated: Sep 02, 2019, 08:16 IST | Agencies |

The US negotiator did not say if he had a finalised text to submit to the Afghan authorities but several officials have hinted in recent days that moving talks to Kabul could signal a positive outcome

A portrait of police spokesman Sayed Hussaini killed in Kunduz suicide attack on Sunday. Pic/AFP
A portrait of police spokesman Sayed Hussaini killed in Kunduz suicide attack on Sunday. Pic/AFP

The US and Taliban negotiators are "at the threshold of an agreement" to end 18 years of conflict between them, Washington's top negotiator said on Sunday as he concluded their latest talks.

The foes have been meeting in Doha to finalise a deal under which the Taliban would give security guarantees in return for sharp reductions to the 13,000-strong US force in Afghanistan.

"We are at the threshold of an agreement that will reduce violence and open the door for Afghans to sit together to negotiate an honourable and sustainable peace," tweeted Washington's special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad.

The US negotiator did not say if he had a finalised text to submit to the Afghan authorities but several officials have hinted in recent days that moving talks to Kabul could signal a positive outcome.

Taliban attacks 2 Afghan cities, dozens killed

Afghan security forces appeared to have cleared Kunduz of Taliban fighters Sunday. The interior ministry said 56 "terrorists", 20 Afghan security forces and five civilians had been killed and another 85 civilians were wounded. In one incident, a suicide bomber blew himself up while police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini was speaking to reporters. Hussaini was killed along with about 10 others. The Taliban launched another attack on city in the Baghlan province on Sunday, said police chief. There was no immediate word on any casualties.

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