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US seeks comprehensive peace deal with Taliban not only troops pullout: Khalilzad

ISLAMABAD: The United States envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, has said America is seeking a comprehensive peace agreement with the Taliban and not only troops pullout from Afghanistan.

In a tweet chief US negotiator apparently responded to a Taliban statement that Washington has agreed during negotiations to withdraw its troops and not to interfere in Afghanistan in future.

“As we prepare for the next round of talks with the Taliban, important to remember we seek a comprehensive peace agreement, not a pullout deal,” Khalilzad said.

Khalilzad said that the comprehensive peace deal he is seeking with the insurgent group is made up of the four inter-connected parts including counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan negotiations that lead to a political settlement; and a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire.

“This is a framework which the Taliban accept,” Khalilzad said.

The two sides are expected to meet in Qatar in the coming few days for a crucial round of peace talks.

The nearly year-long U.S.-Taliban dialogue process has been under fire for failing to make tangible progress toward ending the conflict.

The Taliban maintains it will not stop fighting or join intra-Afghan peace talks until all U.S. and NATO troops leave the country.

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