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March 20, 2019
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Zalmay Khalilzad says ‘real strides’ made in US-Taliban peace talks

DOHA:  US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has said that the US and Afghan Taliban negotiators wrapped up their latest round of marathon peace talks with “real strides” made.

However, the parties are yet to reach an agreement on a timetable for troop withdrawal

“Just finished a marathon round of talks with the Taliban in #Doha. The conditions for #peace have improved. It’s clear all sides want to end the war. Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real strides,” Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted.

Khalilzad said the next step would be discussions in Washington, adding that “there is no final agreement until everything is agreed.”

The talks focused on the withdrawal of US troops and assurances that insurgents would not use Afghanistani territory to stage future attacks.

“Progress was achieved regarding both these issues,” said a Taliban spokesperson.

“For now, both sides will deliberate over the achieved progress, share it with their respective leaderships and prepare for the upcoming meeting.”

It is unclear as yet when the next round of talks will take place.

The talks spanned 16 days, which is thought to be the longest consecutive discussions held between both sides.