Afghan officials to meet Taliban ahead of USA troop withdrawal agreement


The signing of the peace agreement in Doha will unlock intra-Afghan talks between the Taliban and Afghan stakeholders, including the country's West-backed government, to decide the future course of the country. The US and the Taliban are due to sign an accord this weekend on a US troop withdrawal. Both sides got back to talks in December with USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo announcing last week that the deal with the Taliban will be signed on 29 February.

Likewise, Deputy Mohammad Mohaqiq drew attention to the division between the Afghan political parties and the government, which affects the establishment of a council of reconciliation.

"So 18 years on, we have mixed feelings of gratitude to the worldwide community for providing the taxpayers' money to Afghanistan and one of anger at the way we were treated as a people", said Karzai, his signature long green stripped coat draped over his shoulders. The historic signing ceremony is to take place in Qatar's capital, Doha, this Saturday.

According to the source, apart from the ceasefire, the deal will include guarantees that no global terrorist groups or individuals from Afghanistan will pose a threat to the security of the United States and its allies, and set the schedule for the withdrawal of all USA and coalition forces from the country.

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With the Taliban now firmly in the saddle for any peace in Afghanistan, India will have no choice but to accept the reality. "We've got two days now under our belt without violence" or with minimal violence, the president said.

The agreement mapping out a plan for peace follows months of negotiations between the US and the Taliban that have broken down before. "As the Afghan government representatives will themselves be there, there is no reason for India not to be represented".

Shepherding the Afghan government and Taliban towards intra-Afghan negotiations has been one of the biggest headaches for US negotiators, according to western diplomats in Kabul and Doha. The deal with lead the withdrawal of United States forces from Afghanistan, who invaded the country 18-years-back citing war on terror.

In return, the Taliban have agreed not to allow the Afghan soil to be used against any other country.