Taliban: Latest round of talks with US end

Taliban: Latest round of talks with US end
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The Taliban announced Monday that its latest round of talks with the United States has ended.

The eighth round of talks on a deal to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan was “long and useful,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.

Discussions on ending the 18-year-old war have extended for months now.

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Mujahid made no statements on the outcome of this round.

The agreement being negotiated is expected to revolve around a U.S. promise to withdraw troops in exchange for a Taliban promise to not let Afghanistan be used as a base for terrorism.

However, both ISIS and al Qaeda remain active in the country.

The agreement may also include a joint call to end civilian casualties.

The U.S. and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014.

Roughly 20,000 American and allied troops remain in the country.

The Trump administration in December of last year broadcast plans to begin withdrawing forces from the country over the next few months, but the proposal was met with resistance from congressional Republicans.

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 withdrawal plan after hearing feedback from senior military leaders, giving more time for negotiations and a deal to come to fruition.