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US, Taliban talk troop withdrawal at peace talks

DOHA/ KABUL: American and Taliban officials having a look to end a 17-year struggle in Afghanistan began their maximum detailed and high-level discussions yet on international troop withdrawals and counter-terrorism on Tuesday, officials close to the peace negotiations mentioned.

The talks, which kicked off in Doha on Monday, are observed as the most promising yet between the warring parties after the Taliban's newly-appointed political leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar joined for the primary time, flying in from Pakistan.

The two aspects are looking to hammer out a timeline and logistics for a possible troop withdrawal, in addition to promises that the Taliban is not going to host militant teams as the US winds down its presence, sources mentioned. "The Taliban knows foreign forces are committed to withdrawal, but we have the responsibility to ensure that Afghanistan does not get used as a base to launch terror attacks on foreign nations," one of the most officials mentioned.

The US team, led through particular envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, could also be pushing for the Taliban to satisfy with the Afghan government, which the group has thus far snubbed, and to agree a ceasefire forward of its annual spring offensive, sources mentioned. The hardline Islamist movement considers the Afghan government a puppet regime of the US and has refused direct talks.

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