Taliban ready to ink peace deal with US

In this photo taken on June 6, 2019, US soldiers look out over hillsides during a visit of the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General Scott Miller at the Afghan National Army (ANA) checkpoint in Nerkh district of Wardak province. - A skinny tangle of razor wire snakes across the entrance to the Afghan army checkpoint, the only obvious barrier separating the soldiers inside from any Taliban fighters that might be nearby. (Thomas Watkins/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)
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The Taliban is ready to sign an agreement with Washington, which has already been finalized, spokesman for the group’s Qatar-based office, Mohammed Sohail Shaheen, told TASS on Friday.

“The peace agreement with the US is finalized, it only remains to be signed. The US has called off the talks, not we, now the ball is in their court,” he said.

“It is up to them either return to talks and sign the agreement or opt for continuation of the war,” Shaheen added.

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump said during his surprise visit to Afghanistan that the Taliban wanted to sign a peace deal with Washington.

On August 24, agreements were reached on the dates for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan during the ninth round of talks between the United States and the Taliban in Doha. On September 2, US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to present to him a draft peace agreement between the Taliban and the US administration. Trump later said that he had cancelled the meetings with the Taliban’s and Ghani’s representatives, which were scheduled to be held at Camp David on September 8. He also refused to take part in negotiations on a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan after a terror attack in Kabul. Taliban supporters claimed responsibility for the attack.

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