US Envoy Refutes Media Reports Of US, Taliban Reaching Deal On Interim Afghan Gov't

US Envoy Refutes Media Reports of US, Taliban Reaching Deal on Interim Afghan Gov't

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 25th August, 2019) The United States and the Taliban have not reached an agreement on the formation of an interim government in Kabul, despite media reports of the opposite, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said.

The United States and the Taliban are currently in their ninth round of peace negotiations in Doha, Qatar, which started on Thursday. Several media have reported, following the first days of the talks, that the two sides had reached an agreement on an interim government that would include members of the Taliban.

"As the Taliban spokesperson [Suhail Shaheen] stated earlier, we have had no discussions about an interim government. Governance decisions are for Afghans to make in intra-Afghan negotiations. #AfghanPeaceProcess," Zhalilzad tweeted on Saturday.

Earlier on Saturday, the Taliban spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, also tweeted that media reports about the US and Taliban reaching a deal on an interim government were not true.

The United States and Taliban are attempting to reach a peace deal that would include the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan in exchange for the movement's guarantee that the country would not be used as a safe haven for terrorists. However, the ongoing peace talks exclude the Afghan government, as the Taliban accuses it of being a US puppet.

The talks come ahead of the presidential election, which Afghanistan is set to hold on September 28. The Taliban have threatened to disrupt the election with all their force, while the government has vowed to safeguard the process.

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