Envoy Khalilzad jets off to Kabul, says deal with Taliban at threshold level

07:07 PM | 1 Sep, 2019
Envoy Khalilzad jets off to Kabul, says deal with Taliban at threshold level
DOHA - Washington's special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad said the negotiations with Taliban are "at the threshold of an agreement" to put an end to 18 years of conflict.

The envoy, after concluding the latest round of talks, said on Sunday that the agreement will reduce'violence and open the door for Afghans to sit together to negotiate an honourable and sustainable peace'.

The envoy confirmed that he would jet off to Kabul today (Sunday).

The rivals have been brainstorming on the peace deal in Doha to strike a deal under which the Taliban would give security guarantees while the Trump administrations would reduce troops in the war-battered country.

Though Khalilzad has been revealing the details of the negotiations, the State Department is keeping mum over the developments.

"Despite speculation, we do not yet have an announcement to make," a US State Department spokesperson said, adding that Khalilzad would speak to a wide range of Afghans in Kabul, including government leaders.

On the other hand, the Taliban's spokesman in Doha Suhail Shaheen said on Saturday that a deal is near to be finalised but did not specify the obstacles blocking the conclusion of talks.

In an earlier tweet, Khalilzad had said he raised the Kunduz attack in talks, telling the Taliban that violence like this must stop.

A few days ago, President Donald Trump had confirmed that the US would maintain a presence in Afghanistan even if an agreement is made.

He had also warned to take action again if an attack is launched.

“We’re going down to 8,600 and then we make a determination from there,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News radio on Thursday.