Taliban, US in Talks Over Full Withdrawal by July: Sources

Taliban will return to the talks and will attend the Turkey conference if there is an agreement on the matter, sources said.

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Americans and the Taliban are discussing the possibility of ending the withdrawal process by the beginning of July, sources familiar with the matter said.  

The Taliban will return to the talks, will attend the Turkey conference and will reduce violence if there is an agreement on the matter, the sources said.

The US began its withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan this week, and, based on President Joe Biden’s decision, the process was to be completed by Sept. 11. According to the Doha agreement, the US was expected to complete the withdrawal by May 1.

The Taliban considers the postponement of the withdrawal date a violation of the Doha agreement.

“The US has set a deadline for itself and it is possible that the Taliban will not agree to it and then a deadline in the middle will be agreed upon,” said former Taliban commander Sayed Akbar Agha.

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on Monday and, according to sources, he intends to discuss his regional trip and the upcoming Istanbul conference with Afghan officials, along with other topics related to the peace process.

Khalilzad met with Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum in Uzbekistan this week. He also met with Uzbekistan Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and discussed the Afghan peace process.

“Discussions were held on the peace process and the Istanbul conference as well as political consensus,” Dostum’s spokesman Ehsan Nairo said.

However, Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh at an event on Monday called the Taliban a rebellious and fugitive group that is thirsty for power.

“The Taliban, because it has turned away from peace, is considered a fugitive group because, based on a verse of the Holy Quran, if a group violates the call for peace, it is considered violent and fugitive,” Danesh said.

Khalilzad also met with peace negotiators in Doha during his trip to Qatar last week.

“Efforts to hold the upcoming Turkey conference were welcomed. And the US envoy assured his country’s continued support to the government and the people of Afghanistan,” said Ghulam Farooq Majroh, a republic negotiator.

The Istanbul conference was delayed two times because the Taliban backed out. It is expected to be held late this month.

Taliban, US in Talks Over Full Withdrawal by July: Sources