Taliban, US hope to reach a deal soon on withdrawal and no-attack guarantees
The Taliban and the US are hopeful they will soon reach an agreement on a US withdrawal from Afghanistan, a spokesman for the Islamic insurgents said on Tuesday.
"If we do not reach a solution in this round of talks, then we will in the next round of talks, but that is our target," Shaheen told the AP on the second day of the talks.
Senior Taliban leaders, including one of the group's founders, arrived in Qatar on Monday to negotiate a solution for the US's protracted war in Afghanistan with US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.
Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban spokesman, said the deal should include guarantees that the group would not use Afghanistan as a staging arena for anti-American attacks in exchange for the withdrawal of US forces.
The Taliban, who refuse to talk with the government in Kabul and describe it as a US puppet, have long demanded direct talks with the US but Washington has resisted direct negotiations with the group, with whom it has engaged in its 17-year war in Afghanistan, until Khalilzad's appointment as envoy last year.
Khalilzad is expected to pressure the group into talks with the Afghan government.