Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Zalmay Khalilzad shake hands after signing an agreement in Doha. File photo/Reuters
The United States has called for a Tuesday vote at the UN Security Council to endorse Washington's deal with the Taliban that was meant to pave the way to peace in Afghanistan, diplomats said.
Historic deal signed by US Taliban on Afghanistan's future
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The US military has begun withdrawing troops as part of the pullout agreed in the February 29 agreement with the Taliban.
The request for a UN vote came after hard negotiations that began one week ago, diplomats said Monday.
China requested in the last draft, already revised three times, that the resolution mention "regional cooperation," the sources told the media.
The resolution comes amid a series of institutional crises in Afghanistan, following the double swearing-in Monday of President Ashraf Ghani and his rival and former chief executive Abdullah Abduallah, both of whom claimed victory in the recent presidential election.
According to the draft text seen by AFP, the Security Council "urges the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to advance the peace process, including by participating in intra-Afghan negotiations through a diverse and inclusive negotiating team composed of Afghan political and civil society leaders, including women."
The US's request that the Security Council adjust its agreement with the Taliban is a rare move in the forum for an accord between a foreign country and an insurgent group, diplomats said.
Diplomats were also surprised that the agreement included two secret appendices on the fight against terrorism that Council members must approve without even knowing what they say. One diplomat described it as "unbelievable."
"We're going to keep a presence there. We're reducing that presence very substantially and we're going to always have a presence.'
The latest information from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan shows an almost 30 per cent drop in casualties for the first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year
The UN’s call for an end to violence comes as Washington’s special peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, began another round of talks with the Taliban to press them to start talking to the newly reconciled Afghan political leadership in Kabul and implement an immediate reduction in violence, said the US State Department.
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Contacts between Riyadh and Damascus had gathered momentum following a landmark agreement to re-establish ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a key ally of President Bashar Al-Assad, a regional source aligned with Damascus said.