Kabul – Peace talks between the U.S and Taliban that were cancelled by U.S President Donald Trump in early September will resume in weeks, competent sources said on Tuesday.
According to the source, who requested anonymity, negotiations aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan conflict will resume in less then four weeks and will pick up from where they had left off.
The account was confirmed by a deputy to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the former insurgent leader of the Hizb-i Islami group that reconciled with the Afghan government under a peace deal in Sept. 2016.
Hizb-i Islami, with an ideology closely aligned with the Taliban’s, has since been operating as a political movement, with Hekmatyar running in the 2019 Afghan presidential election as a candidate.
The U.S and Taliban were on the threshold of signing an agreement before the talks were cancelled following the death of two NATO soldiers in a Taliban bombing in the capital, Kabul, on Sept. 5.
The draft agreement called for the U.S to withdraw 5,000 U.S soldiers from Afghanistan in 135 days as a first installment.
It also called for the Taliban to enter into direct talks with the Afghan government, a step the militants have so far refused to take as they consider Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government to be “puppets” of Washington.
The U.S and Taliban representatives had been meeting since last summer in hopes of finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan conflict that has raged on for nearly two decades.