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U.S. and Taliban Edge Toward Deal to End America’s Longest War

That a lot gave the impression in settlement. But as at all times, the satan is in the main points. How lengthy would the cease-fire be, and would it not get started prior to, after and even throughout the American withdrawal? How lengthy a time period would the withdrawal quilt?

All of those questions are possible deal-breakers.

Taliban resources remained constructive, at the same time as Western diplomats expressed fear that there would now not be a deal from this spherical of Doha talks. On Saturday afternoon, Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban authentic who now lives in Kabul however helps to keep shut contacts with rebel leaders, mentioned he had simply spoken to them.

“I have been told that talks are going ahead very well and we are close to an agreement,” he mentioned. Whatever the end result this time, Mr. Agha mentioned, “Afghanistan was never so close to peace in these past years. What is happening now has never happened before.”

After just about 20 years of a struggle that has price tens of 1000’s of lives and masses of billions of greenbacks, President Trump has made transparent his distaste for a endured function in Afghanistan. In December, he detailed the withdrawal of part of America’s 14,000 troops within the coming months.

That used to be prior to Mr. Khalilzad, an Afghan-American and former ambassador to Afghanistan, had even begun the newest spherical of direct negotiations with the Taliban, which began on Monday and have been first of all anticipated to ultimate just a couple days, as earlier classes had.

Afghan truces up to now have come and long gone, and maximum observers don’t consider that the Afghan army can stand in opposition to the Taliban with out American beef up. Once the Americans depart, who would ensure any truce?

Ryan Crocker, a former American ambassador to Afghanistan, mentioned it used to be a hurry for the exits.

“I can’t see this as anything more than an effort to put lipstick on what will be a U.S. withdrawal,” he mentioned. Mr. Crocker mentioned it reminded him of the Paris peace talks on Vietnam.

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