The seventh round of talks between the U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan and the Taliban ended Tuesday after signs of progress, Reuters reported.
U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met with Taliban officials a day after a delegation of Afghan citizens and the militant group agreed to a "roadmap for peace."
The agreement reportedly includes a joint call to end civilian casualties in the 18-year-old war.
“Khalilzad will now brief his bosses and they will make an announcement. The seventh round has ended,” a senior official told Reuters.
Both sides are nearing a deal revolving around a U.S. promise to withdraw troops for a Taliban promise to not let Afghanistan be used as a base for terrorism, officials told the outlet.
Khalilzad said last week that the most recent round of talks, which began June 28, was the “most productive” since the effort began last year.
The last 6 days of talks have been the most productive session to date. We made substantive progress on ALL 4 parts of a peace agreement: counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, participation in intra-Afghan dialogue & negotiations, and permanent & comprehensive ceasefire— U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) July 6, 2019
The Trump administration in December planned to begin withdrawing forces from the country over the next few months, but the proposal was met with resistance from Republicans on Capitol Hill.
The Senate voted in January for a “sense of the Senate” resolution warning against the “precipitous withdrawal” of U.S. troops from the region.
Trump temporarily backed off his plan to withdraw U.S. forces after hearing feedback from senior military leaders, giving more time for negotiations and a deal to come to fruition.