Published: Mon, August 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Taliban Says Latest Round of US-Taliban Talks Finishes

Taliban Says Latest Round of US-Taliban Talks Finishes

But on August 11, as Afghans were marking the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha, U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad expressed hope that "this is the last Eid where Afghanistan is at war".

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has rejected foreign interference and called for the presidential election to be held next month as planned, amid talks between the United States and the Taliban aimed at bringing the almost 18-year war in Afghanistan to an end.

"We've concluded this round of talks that started Aug 3 between the United States and the Taliban".

In his Eid message on Sunday, Khalilzad took to Twitter where he said that he knew the Afghans' yearning for peace, adding that "we stand with them and are working hard toward a lasting and honourable peace agreement and a sovereign Afghanistan which poses no threat to any other country", TOLO News reported.

Held in Qatar since late past year, the talks have brought hopes for a deal allowing USA troops to leave in exchange for a Taliban promise that Afghanistan will not be used by Islamist militants as a base from which to plot attacks overseas.

The President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani said the polls on September 28 will go ahead as planned.

But the United States is pushing for Taliban agreement on two other elements: power-sharing talks with the USA -backed government and a ceasefire. The insurgent group refuses to recognise the Kabul administration as a legitimate entity, calling it a US puppet.

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If you miss the peak, the Perseids will still be around until about August 24, but with gradually diminished rates of meteors . NASA also suggests staying up late, or waking up early throughout the nights of August 11 to 12 and August 12 to August 13.

Ghani, stung by being excluded from the peace talks, on Sunday pleaded for national unity. "We don't want anyone to intervene in our affairs", Ghani told an Eid-related gathering at the presidential place in Kabul.

"Many scholars believe that the deeper meaning of Eid al-Adha is to sacrifice one's ego".

The Taliban has so far refused to negotiate with the Western-backed government in Kabul, calling it a "puppet regime".

"Our future can not be decided outside, whether in the capital cities of our friends, nemeses or neighbors".

"Bloodshed should stop, and peace should be established in Afghanistan", said Khan Mohammad, a Wardak resident. "My very best wishes".

The U.S. negotiators demanded that the Taliban announce a ceasefire and start direct talks with the Kabul government, the Taliban official said. Ghani and his advisors, however have rejected those assertions nor do Taliban envoys support it, causing confusion about the goal of intra-Afghan talks as and when they start.

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