Taliban, Afghan Delegations Hail 'Successful' Moscow Meeting, Pledge To Meet Again

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"The Americans agreed to withdraw half of their troops immediately".

On an April withdrawal, he said: "It's our desire".

Earlier in the day, a member of the Taliban delegation, Abdul Salam Hanefi, was quoted as claiming that Washington agreed during a recent round of talks in Doha to withdraw half its ground troops by the end of April - saying the process had already begun.

The Taliban's deputy chief negotiator, Salam Hanafi, also said the group will negotiate directly with Kabul once the U.S. announces a full withdrawal.

The discussions in Moscow came two weeks after Taliban and American diplomats announced significant progress in six days of negotiations in Doha, Qatar, where the Taliban maintain an office.

Former Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor, who was also part of the Afghan delegation, suggested the formation of an interim government that includes the Taliban as the way out of the logjam.

"We have no orders to withdraw".

Taliban official Abdul Salam Hanafi, speaking on the sidelines of a meeting in Moscow between the Taliban and other prominent Afghan figures, said that USA officials promised the pullout will begin this month. Hope for peace coexists with the fear that the USA will leave as carelessly as it boosted intervention in 2017, when civilian deaths surged due to increased air strikes.

Former President Hamid Karzai and other leaders shared prayers and meals with the Taliban while discussing the future of the conflict-riven country at a hotel that belongs to the Kremlin.

Afghans living in Russian Federation are hosting the meeting between Afghan politicians and Taliban members who refuse to talk with President Ghani, one organizer Ghulam Mohammad Jalal told DW.

The discussions between USA envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives have reached a critical juncture with the two sides signalling that at least for now they are ready to end the fighting, thereby bringing the curtains down on a 17-year-old war.

Women - and many men too - are frightened about the possible terms of an agreement and very aware that they would essentially be unenforceable once U.S. troops were out of the country.

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President Donald Trump said on Tuesday his administration had accelerated talks for a political settlement in Afghanistan and would be able to reduce USA troops there as negotiations advanced to end America's longest war.

"They arrived there late, fought back and managed to get the checkpoint under control of the check point, " he added.

But the USA -backed government in Kabul was not invited to the conference because the Taliban have persistently refused to engage in any talks with Kabul until all foreign forces leave Afghanistan.

The Taliban control almost half of Afghanistan, and are more powerful than at any time since the 2001 US-led invasion after the 9/11 terror attacks. He says the Taliban made away with all the weapons and ammunition from the security post.

However, Stanikzai said "women should not worry" about the prospect of increasing Taliban influence in the country as they would seek to grant women all their "rights according to Islamic rule and Afghan culture".

US -led forces in 2001 toppled the hardline Taliban for harboring the al Qaeda militants responsible for the September 11 attacks.

"There is no need to reinterpret Afghan women's lives", the statement said. A more involved role for Moscow has surprised many, mostly due to Russia's bloody history in Afghanistan (when it was the Soviet Union) during its occupation of the country from 1979 to 1989.

"The people who are in Moscow, including the Taliban and Afghan politicians, have one thing in common: they are all against Ghani", Yunus Fakur, a Kabul-based Afghan analyst, told DW.

On Tuesday afternoon he said a press release would be issued within a few hours "which will reflect the key agreements achieved at the meeting". He, however, added that the Afghan government does not consider the gathering to be in the interest of peace.

Mr Stanikzai said the Taliban had decided in Moscow to meet Afghan political figures who had "manpower" on the ground.

"We both agreed that words, rumors, and speculations can not replace actions and that our partnership and resolve will remain strong in the pursuit of peace", Ghani tweeted.

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