US envoy sees 'significant progress' in talks with Taliban

US envoy sees 'significant progress' in talks with Taliban
© Getty

The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan traveled to the country's capital of Kabul on Sunday after what he called "significant progress" in peace talks with the Taliban.

Zalmay Khalilzad wrote on Twitter that he was headed to Afghanistan following six days of negotiations in Qatar.

"Meetings here were more productive than they have been in the past," he tweeted. "We made significant progress on vital issues. Will build on the momentum and resume talks shortly. We have a number of issues left to work out. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and 'everything' must include an intra-Afghan dialogue and comprehensive ceasefire."

ADVERTISEMENT

Reuters reported that the U.S. and Taliban leaders established a draft plan that includes an 18-month timeline for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, with the clock starting upon completion of a deal.

Reuters reported that the draft also includes assurances from the Taliban that it will not allow ISIS and al Qaeda to use Afghanistan to attack the U.S. and its allies. Taliban leaders also requested that the group be part of an interim government in Afghanistan following a ceasefire.

It was not clear whether the draft plan would be acceptable to Afghan leaders, Reuters reported, or when it might be implemented.

President Trump announced more than a year ago a new strategy to help end the 17-year war, injecting more than 3,000 troops into the fight and increasing air strikes.

The two sides have engaged in peace talks in an effort to broker a ceasefire. While no formal agreement has been reached, U.S. leaders have expressed optimism about progress in negotiations.