Taliban Says Latest Round of US-Taliban Talks Finishes

Washington has been negotiating with the Taliban over the past year for a pact that would see the Pentagon begin to withdraw its 14,000 troops from Afghanistan

Khalilzad hopes this will be the 'Last Eid where Afghanistan is at War'

Talks on a pact that would allow the United States to end its longest war and withdraw troops from Afghanistan have ended without agreement and both sides would consult their leaders on the next steps, the Taliban have said.

Ghani made the comments as US and Taliban negotiators appeared to be closing in on a peace agreement without the Western-backed government in Kabul at the table.

U.S. officials were not immediately available for comment but the chief United States negotiator, veteran Afghan-American diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Sunday hard work was being done "toward a lasting and honourable peace agreement and a sovereign Afghanistan which poses no threat to any other country".

President of the US-backed government, Ashraf Ghani, appeared to question the deal on Sunday, saying his nation would decide its future, not outsiders. "Our future fate will not be decided in foreign countries. the future and fate of this country will be decided here in Afghanistan", he added.

His latest comments on the progress of the talks came on Sunday when he greeted Afghans on the Eid celebration in a series of tweets. "We don't want anyone to intervene in our affairs".

President Ashraf Ghani spoke during the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Adha and as U.S. and Taliban negotiators continue their work in the Gulf nation of Qatar, where the insurgents have a political office.

There was no immediate comment on Monday from USA envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who on Sunday tweeted that "I hope this is the last Eid where #Afghanistan is at war". I know Afghans yearn for peace.

Khalilzad tweeted Sunday that he hoped this would be the last Eid al-Adha in which Afghanistan is at war, referring to the Muslim holiday that began over the weekend.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is hoping to reach a peace deal by September 1, weeks before Afghanistan's presidential election.

He said the USA is working hard toward a lasting and honorable peace agreement and a sovereign Afghanistan which poses no threat to any other country.

The Taliban have refused to negotiate with the Afghan government, dismissing it as a USA puppet, and on Tuesday they declared the September 28 election a "sham".

Washington is keen to end its 18-year involvement in Afghanistan, where it has spent more than $1 trillion, and President Donald Trump has said he wants troops out.

The Taliban have denounced the election as a sham and threatened to attack rallies.

Thousands rejoice during annual Eid Al-Adha prayers in Winnipeg
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