The US demands clarity from the Taliban about the ceasefire before sealing the peace

The US envoy for Afghan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, visiting Afghanistan and following a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, warned on Saturday that Washington is waiting for a clear response from the Taliban on a ceasefire or a reduction enduring violence to advance peace talks.

"We are waiting for a clear response from the Taliban about a ceasefire or a lasting and significant reduction of violence based on a practical mechanism that is acceptable to the Afghan people and the United States Government," the Afghan presidential palace said in a statement, citing Khalilzad after the meeting.

The US envoy, who arrived in Kabul on Saturday after visiting Pakistan the day before and after the last round of talks with the Taliban in Qatar, which took place in recent weeks, and in which he said no there was no "significant progress".

This, despite the fact that at the beginning of this round on January 17, the Taliban reported that preparations for the signing of a peace agreement that was already completed in September and that had not been modified were addressed.

Although on that occasion they denied that the US demand for a ceasefire was discussed, at the end of December, the insurgent group already warned that it "had no intention" of declaring a ceasefire in Afghanistan, although it pointed out that in the December round did discuss a possible "reduction in the scale and intensity of violence".

During his visit to Pakistan, Khalilzad discussed peace efforts with the authorities of that country and welcomed his efforts to support a reduction of violence in Afghanistan that will pave the way for a peace agreement, as well as for the start of negotiations intra Afghans and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire for sustainable peace.

The draft agreement, which the Taliban hope to seal without change, contemplates the withdrawal of Afghanistan from more than 5,000 US soldiers from five bases, in the first 135 days after the signing of the pact.

The Taliban have been at war with the Afghan government and the United States for almost two decades, a country that evicted them from power after the invasion in 2001.


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