The US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation said Tuesday that weeks of negotiations with Taliban negotiators had yielded a draft agreement on two issues related to Afghan peace.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the main US negotiator, said the two sides had “agreed in draft” on counter-terrorism assurances and troop withdrawal. However, he cautioned that “there is no final agreement until everything is agreed.”
The preliminary agreement comes after what Khalilzad described as “a marathon round of talks” in Doha. The special representative and team had been in the Qatari capital for the discussions since late February – they and the Taliban had reached “agreed in principle” during their last round of talks in January.
“It’s clear all sides want to end the war. Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real strides,” Khalilzad wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
Although the two sides made progress on counter-terrorism measures and troop withdrawal, Khalilzad notes that “peace requires agreement” on two other core issues: intra-Afghan dialogue and a comprehensive ceasefire.
“When the agreement in draft about a withdrawal timeline and effective counterterrorism measures is finalized, the Taliban and other #Afghans, including the government, will begin intra-Afghan negotiations on a political settlement and comprehensive ceasefire,” Khalilzad said.
Khalilzad said that the two sides would meet again soon, but did not offer a specific date. He noted that he would engage in discussions in Washington and with other partners.