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Talks with Taliban very productive

Khalilzad said that they made “substantive progress” on all four parts of a peace agreement which according to him, include counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, participation in intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations, and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.

Talking to TOLOnews, Khalilzad said they are in talks with the Afghan government besides their talks with the Taliban, who control part of Afghanistan’s territory.

“The job is not done. I hope that we will reach an agreement from the US perspective. I want to tell the Afghan people that we are also in talks with the [Afghan] government, same as we are in talks with the Taliban who control parts of Afghanistan’s territory. I had talked more than one hour with Mr. President [Ashraf Ghani] today [Saturday],” Khalilzad said.

Meanwhile, Khalilzad said that the talks were paused for two days to respect the intra-Afghan dialogue where more than 50 delegates from Kabul and 17 members of the Taliban have attended. 

Khalilzad described the intra-Afghan dialogue as a “critical milestone” in the Afghan peace process. 

“There is still important work left to be done before we have an agreement. We will resume on the 9th after the dialogue,” Khalilzad tweeted.

A Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that a 17-member delegation of the group will attend the intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha which has been facilitated by Germany and Qatar.

He said that the US-Taliban talks will resume on the 9th of July.