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Taliban say gap narrowing in talks with US

In this file photo, participants attend the opening of the two-day talks of the Taliban and Afghan opposition representatives at the President Hotel in Moscow on February 5, 2019. (AFP)
The Taliban say the gap is narrowing in talks with Washington’s special peace envoy over a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. The two sides are continuing to meet in Qatar, where the insurgent movement maintains a political office.

In a voice message sent Saturday to The Associated Press, the Taliban spokesman in Doha says both sides have offered new proposals for drawing down US and NATO forces. This would be a significant initial step toward a deal to end nearly 18 years of war and America’s longest military engagement.

US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, however, continued to press for a cease fire, tweeting Friday: “It is time to put down arms.” The Taliban have rejected any cease-fire until US and NATO troops withdraw.
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