Two U.S. Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

Two U.S. Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

The US and Taliban have resumed peace talks in Doha, Qatar, aimed at chalking out a deal on the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and negotiations with the government in Kabul.

Meanwhile, the NATO-led Resolute Mission in Afghanistan has only confirmed the killing of two US service members. A Taliban spokesman said the commander of USA forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, was at the negotiations in Qatar on Thursday.

Asked if the Afghan people were ready to accept a Taliban deal with the U.S., the High Peace Council member said common Afghans were in favor of an agreement as they wanted an end to the conflict and desired to see foreign forces quit Afghanistan.

Taliban lead negotiator Abbas Stanikzai told AFP Thursday that talks had been "going well".

"We resumed peace talks with the U.S. today on August 22 in Doha".

While the US hopes to keep some military presence in Afghanistan, the Taliban have pushed for a total withdrawal. USA envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban have resumed negotiations on ending America's longest war.

The Wall Street Journal citing the USA officials has said that the Taliban initially demanded an immediate pullout, however, the United States negotiators pressed for a withdrawal stretched over 18-24 months while the Taliban softened their demand to nine to 12 months.

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A Taliban member said US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been leading the negotiations with the militant group since previous year, also met one-on-one on August 21 with the Taliban's lead negotiator, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Associated Press reported.

Key issues in Thursday's talks, which began a day after U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Doha, remain the withdrawal of the U.S. and other foreign forces from the country and a commitment by the Taliban that Afghanistan will not be used as a launchpad for global attacks.

Two US troops have been killed in Afghanistan, according to the NATO Resolute Support mission.

So far this year, 14 American troops have died in Afghanistan in combat.

President Donald Trump, a vocal critic of the Afghan war since before he was elected in 2016, is reportedly hoping to withdraw the majority of the 13,000 troops stationed there before the 2020 election.

Khalilzad is scheduled to travel to Kabul to "inform the top Afghan leaders about the peace deal and then finalize a declaration to end the war in Afghanistan", a senior USA official privy to the peace negotiations told Reuters. Some U.S. forces carry out counter-terrorism operations.

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