Taliban talks end without deal, both sides to consult

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar  the Taliban group's top political leader and other members of the Taliban

Enlarge Image Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group's top political leader and other members of the Taliban AP

Quoting senior Pentagon officials, Newsweek reported on Monday that U.S. personnel have been ordered to limit almost all offensive combat operations against the Taliban and cease advising the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces as the Trump administration proposes cutting United States troop strength in Afghanistan by almost half to 6,000 as a means of finalizing "technical" details among Taliban leadership.

The negotiations, held since a year ago in Qatar, sought a deal in which the United States would withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in exchange for the Taliban guaranteeing they wouldn't allow the country to once again become a base for Islamic militants. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the eighth round of talks, which a U.S. official said earlier involved technical details of the implementation of the pact, ended in the early hours and both sides would consult their leaders.

This comes as the United States and the Taliban negotiators wrapped up the eighth round of peace talks in Qatar. "We discussed a number of issues and developed consensus on some of them but couldn't reach a conclusion". But the United States is pushing for Taliban agreement on two other elements: power-sharing talks with the US-backed government and a ceasefire.

This comes as the 8 round of peace talks between the US and Taliban representatives recently concluded in Qatari capital of Doha.

The two sides have been discussing an agreement under which United States forces would withdraw from Afghanistan and the Taliban would guarantee the country would not revert to being a launchpad for global attacks.

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