US, Taliban Seek to Work Out Afghan Peace Deal in Doha

Khalilzad emphasizes that US wants peace deal, not withdrawal agreement

Doha talks between US and Taliban negotiators are continuing forward on Sunday, with the most recent reports suggesting that the two sides are trying to organize a direct meeting between their top negotiators, Zalmay Khalilzad and Mullah Baradar.

Both sides were very clear that this round of talks might effectively be the last, and end with the announcement of a deal Khalilzad emphasized in his comments that the US wants a “peace deal,” not merely a “withdrawal agreement.”

Yet it’s undeniable that those two are interchangeable. The Taliban are insisting on foreign troops leave, the US wants the Taliban to keep ISIS and al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan, and those deals are the general framework of a peace deal that would also include a ceasefire and talks on power-sharing with the Ghani government.

Taliban officials confirmed this is going to be what they’re shooting for, saying they want to set a timeline for foreign troops to leave Afghanistan during which they’d negotiate with the government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.