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Taliban Ends Latest Talks With US

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The Taliban and the U.S. ended their eighth round of talks Monday and a peace deal was not reached for Afghanistan.

This round of talks was supposed to result in a deal ending the 18-year-long war, a Taliban spokesperson said according to The Associated Press. Both sides said they would be talking with leadership following the most recent meeting.

The talks were “productive,” according to Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation.

We’ve concluded this round of talks that started Aug 3 between the US and the Taliban. Over the last few days, the two sides focused on technical details. They were productive. I am on my way back to DC to consult on next steps.

— U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) August 12, 2019

The Taliban and the U.S. have been trying to reach an agreement where the U.S. would withdraw from Afghanistan and the Taliban would promise the country wouldn’t go back to being a prime base for global terrorism. There are still about 20,000 American and allied troops in the country, according to The Hill. (RELATED: Trump Administration Is Preparing To Reduce Number of US Troops In Afghanistan: Report)

The Islamic State and al Qaeda are still active in the country, and the Taliban commits attacks almost every day in Afghanistan. The attacks are aimed at Afghan forces, but many civilians are killed as well, the AP reported.

The U.S. has tried to initiate a cease-fire and worked to develop talks inside Afghanistan, but the insurgents won’t recognize the Afghan government because they view it as being involved with the U.S., according to the AP. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Sunday he didn’t want foreigners involved in Afghan affairs.

The U.S. and NATO ended their combat mission in 2014.

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Daniel Christof

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