A seventh round of talks between U.S. and Taliban representatives concluded early last week in Doha, Qatar. The negotiations focused on the possible withdrawal of U.S. troops and efforts to end the 18-year war.
The top U.S. negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, described the recent discussions as “the most productive session to date.”
American officials have expressed a desire to reach a peace deal by Sept. 1, ahead of Afghan presidential elections scheduled for later that month. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks during the peace talks, including a July 1 assault in Kabul that claimed dozens of lives.
The United States has been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001. More than 2,400 U.S. military personnel have died in the conflict.
Saturday’s announcement brings the number of U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan in 2019 to 12.
Sharif Hassan contributed to this report.