Taliban negotiator spokesman Mohammed Sohail Shaheen, currently in
Moscow from the recent talks between Taliban and Afghan officials,
reported that he expects, during the next round of talks with the US,
the Americans will announce a specific date for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
The US and Taliban have been known to be advancing toward a deal for
months, centered on the US withdrawing from Afghanistan and the Taliban
promising to keep ISIS and al-Qaeda out of the country in return.
Shaheen said that if the US does set a date, it will create a very real
possibility of settling the war in Afghanistan, now ongoing for some 18
years. President Trump has talked up the merits of such a deal, though
some US officials are said to oppose any deal that doesn’t leave a
remnant US force in Afghanistan.
Shaheen also offered brief talk of the Moscow meeting with Afghan
officials, saying it was “successful,” but that no breakthrough was
reached and further talks will be needed.