KABUL, Aug 3 (GCCurrentAffairs) Foreign troops will leave Afghanistan if the Taliban Islamist movement reaches a peace deal with the United States, Taliban negotiator Abdul Salam Hanifi said on Saturday.
On Saturday, the Taliban and the United States will launch the eighth round of negotiations in the Qatari capital of Doha. US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has expressed optimism over the outcome of the talks that could allow Washington to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
“The first achievement of Islamic Emirate will be that the occupation will end and entire troops including US and NATO forces will leave Afghanistan,” Hanifi said in a video, released by the Taliban.
He vowed to launch intra-Afghan talks after the withdrawal of foreign troops is announced.
“If agreed on a timeline and after its announcement in presence of foreign representatives, the troops will leave Afghanistan based on a timeline agreed, and then we will enter intra-Afghan talks, which will be focused on discussing the internal issues, including the constitution, reforms in security organs, Islamic government and permanent ceasefire,” Hanifi stressed.
He added that the Taliban’s position during the talks would be based on Islamic rules and national interests of Afghanistan.
The United States and its allies launched a military operation in Afghanistan in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks, which were staged by the al-Qaeda terror group (banned in Russia), backed by then Taliban-led government of Afghanistan.
The Taliban and the United States are trying to reach a peace deal to include the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and assurances from the Taliban that the country will not be used as a safe harbor for terrorists.