Taliban political spox says peace deal complete, awaiting Washington's signature

TEHRAN, Nov. 04 (MNA) – Taliban's political spokesman in Qatar says the Afghan group was close to a peace deal with the US, adding the agreement is awaiting Washington’s signature.

The Taliban's political spokesman in Doha, Suhail Shaheen, made the remarks in an interview with a Mehr journalist.

In the interview, the Taliban's political spokesman in Doha criticized the US withdrawal from peace talks with the armed group.

Shaheen spoke of the Taliban's readiness to return to the negotiating table while the US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been touring to discuss the issue with various countries.

He confirmed to Mehr that previous talks with the Americans had reached a conclusion and an agreement had been completed.

The spokesman added that the deal includes the issue of withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, ban on using Afghanistan's soil against the United States and its allies, the start of Afghan-Afghan talks and the issue of a ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Shaheen said that the United States pulled back from the talks contrary to their expectations.

He further expressed his disappointment with the US withdrawal from the peace talks despite sending a strong negotiating team, saying that the Afghan group have lost trust in the US to continue talks with.

"The issue of Afghanistan has no military solution and can be resolved through dialogue and the Taliban have stated their position at numerous conferences," according to the political spokesman.

However, Shaheen warned that if the United States does not want peace, they are determined to resume fighting foreign troops as they have done in the past.

The United States should return to the negotiating table, otherwise, it will have to bear the responsibility for the consequences of the war in Afghanistan, he underlined.

He went on to say that the peace agreement is ready to be signed, calling on the United States to return to the negotiations.

He also pointed out that the group believes the deal is ready to be signed and it is awaiting Washington’s signature. He also vowed to defend Afghanistan if the US does not want to negotiate.

Elsewhere, Shaheen referred to the Taliban as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, saying that the American side has not accepted using the term instead of Taliban.

“The Islamic Emirate is a political and military force that cannot be denied by anyone,” he noted, adding the armed group have resisted America and their advanced arms over the past 18 years. He further claimed that they now control 70% of Afghanistan’s soil.

KI/4763561

News Code 151940

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