6-day talks between the USA and Taliban movement in Qatar have concluded with a draft framework for a peace deal aiming to put an end to the 17-year conflict in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, the Middle East experts believe that it may be years before the actual peace deal is reached.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, is in Kabul to keep contact with the Afghan government. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is consistently urging Taliban to negotiations; however, the movement has refused so far believing Ashraf Ghani a US ‘puppet”.

The Trump administration’s strategy consists in putting pressure on the Taliban to negotiate with the Afghan government.

The White House is exploring a full withdrawal of US troops in return for a ceasefire and a commitment by the Taliban to these direct talks.

The Taliban will begin negotiations with the government once a firm date for troop withdrawal has been agreed upon.

The Taliban has surged dramatically since foreign combat troops left Afghanistan in 2014. Now the movement controls the biggest part of the country inhabited by

15 million people – half the population of Afghanistan.