Published: Sat, August 24, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

US Says 2 Troops Killed in Combat in Afghanistan

US Says 2 Troops Killed in Combat in Afghanistan

A United States envoy and the Taliban on Thursday resumed negotiations in Qatar on ending America's longest war.

"Five thousand personnel will not bring basic changes in our lives because the remaining number will support our Air Force, our Commando Force, and other Defence and Security Forces and will help the Resolute Support to continue (its mission in Afghanistan)", Ghani said. A Taliban spokesman said the commander of USA forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, was at the negotiations in Qatar on Thursday.

Previously, Khalilzad has said the intra-Afghan negotiations will be the occasion to work out thorny issues such as constitutional reforms, the fate of the country's many militias and even the name for Afghanistan, as the Taliban still refers to it as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday assured the Afghan public that peace will finally prevail in the country and that the nation should not have any concern about the ongoing talks between the USA and the Taliban in Doha.

Speaking to Arab News, he said Khalilzad was insisting that the Taliban should declare cease-fire across Afghanistan while the previous understanding was that Taliban fighters would observe cease-fire in particular areas from where foreign forces withdrew.

A Taliban member said United States envoy Zalmay Khalilzad also had a one-on-one meeting on Wednesday with the Taliban's lead negotiator, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, according to AP.

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The Afghan President said his government initiated the peace efforts and the talks between the USA and the Taliban.

In an interview with TOLO News, Ghani said that he requested a reduction in the number of American troops in Afghanistan in a letter to US President Donald Trump seven months ago but reiterated that a decrease in number forces will be conditions-based.

More than 2,400 USA military personnel have died in Afghanistan since the US -led invasion in 2001 to topple the Taliban, whose government had harbored al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

In June, during the seventh round of talks, both sides said there was an understanding of troop withdrawal but the details, including a timeline, had not been worked out yet.

This latest casualty brings the total number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year to 16.

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