US-Taliban talks in Doha fail to yield final peace deal on Afghanistan
The United States and Taliban have concluded the ninth day of the ninth round of peace negotiations in Qatar with no final agreement in sight, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Saturday, Trend reports citing Sputnik.
The issues discussed during the Qatar talks include pulling out foreign armed forces from Afghanistan, a comprehensive ceasefire, prisoner release and future intra-Afghan negotiations.
While some, like Wahidullah Ghazi Khel, the spokesman for the new National Front have hope that the technical teams working on both sides will reach an agreement shortly, the overall attitude regarding the possibility of a deal is not a positive one, the correspondent reported.
After the peace deal is signed, inter-Afghan talks between the Taliban and other political movements are reportedly expected to begin. The Taliban insist that the Afghan authorities should participate in the talks not as a government but as a political movement.
The peace talks, meanwhile, were overshadowed by overnight clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan government forces in Kunduz.
While the Afghan government has claimed that the attack had been successfully repelled, the Sputnik correspondent has reported that there were fears that the fighting could continue and that the Taliban might have a chance to seize the city.
The US-Taliban talks come ahead of the 28 September presidential election in Afghanistan. The Taliban have threatened to disrupt the election, while the government has vowed to safeguard the democratic process.
Conflict-struck Afghanistan has been long torn by fighting between government troops and the Taliban, who are currently negotiating a peace deal with the United States.
US President Donald Trump reiterated on Thursday that he wanted to downsize the US military force in the country but did not offer a timeline for the withdrawal, which is what the Taliban demands.