Published: Tue, July 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

USA hails talks with Taliban, denies troop withdrawal window

USA hails talks with Taliban, denies troop withdrawal window

The intra-Afghan talks are being held in Doha.

But some officials feared the latest attack, which took place while leaders from Ghazni and other provinces were beginning their first-ever meeting with Taliban officials - would have a dampening effect on the dialogue.

The veteran US diplomat has also been touring the region in an attempt to gain support for the peace process in Afghanistan.

Sunday's attack comes amid peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government underway in Qatar.

She posted a statement on Twitter earlier this evening hailing the participation of the Afghan women in Doha intra-Afghan dialogue on peace.

"We might have disagreements with the Taliban on how to interpret those rights, but I don't think they will be strong enough to lead to fighting", he said.

He said that peace isamong the top priorities of the Afghan and United States governments.

In his tweet, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed satisfaction over the intra-Afghan peace dialogue.

"Gathered around the table today are some of the brightest minds representing a cross-section of Afghan society", said Markus Potzel, Germany's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"We want a roadmap for the future of Afghanistan", he told reporters after the hosts left the Afghan parties with mediators to begin discussions.

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At least 12 people were killed and 179 others injured on Sunday in a suicide auto bombing in Afghanistan's Ghazni city.

An agreement with the Taliban is expected to have two main pillars - a United States withdrawal from Afghanistan and a commitment by the militants not to offer sanctuary to jihadists.

Meanwhile, the US-Taliban negotiations will resume on Tuesday, with both sides aiming to hammer out the details of a framework agreement reached in January during the sixth round of their talks.

Zalmay Khalilzad, who is leading the U.S. side on its negotiations with the Taliban in Doha, told Al Jazeera that "substantive progress" has been made in the latest round of talks.

"I think we have to accept that through fighting, no one will win, everybody will have to accept peace", Afghani said, calling the event "a big step towards peace".

He also said the Taliban "want to show the worldwide community and the Afghans in Qatar that they can carry out attacks even in the cities".

A Taliban auto bomb in eastern Afghanistan killed at least 12 people and wounded scores more Sunday, officials said, in a massive blast that came amid ongoing peace talks in Qatar.

"The final destination for Afghans is peace, we have suffered for years, especially innocent people". "If we don't capture it now, it will probably take many years to come back to a position where not just nationally but regionally and internationally, a lot of issues have aligned in a constructive and positive way", Dr Barakat pointed out.

"President Ghani is quite comfortable with it", said Khalilzad.

"We believe that there is collectively an incredible amount of intelligence, thinking about Afghanistan and what goes on, hopefully coming together will come up with its own solutions", he added.

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