Taliban says it hopes for peace deal 'soon' with US: report

Taliban says it hopes for peace deal 'soon' with US: report
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A spokesman for the Taliban's political office in Qatar on Thursday said he hopes that there is a peace deal reached with the U.S. soon.

Bloomberg News reported Friday that Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the group based in Doha, said over the phone that the two sides "are getting close" to an agreement that would lead to a cessation of hostilities in Afghanistan while the Taliban begins talks with the Afghan government.

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If “a reasonable and convincing proposal" is presented, Shaheen added, "the peace agreement will be concluded soon.”

“We hope the Americans come up with a reasonable timeline [for withdrawing troops] and that we can agree to," he added.

His comments were echoed by Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoLatest pro-democracy rally draws tens of thousands in Hong Kong 63 killed in blast at Afghan wedding as Taliban, US negotiate troop withdrawal Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan MORE during a Fox News interview Thursday. Pompeo said he expects "real progress” on a deal by September.

During a visit to the country earlier this month, Pompeo called for "Afghan-led" and "Afghan-owned" peace talks between the Taliban and Afghanistan's government, despite the Taliban's past refusal to negotiate directly with the U.S.-backed government.

"The United States will support, facilitate and participate in these discussions," Pompeo said earlier this month, according to Fox News.

"The region and the world are all tired of what are taking place here in the same way that the Afghan people are no longer interested in seeing war."