The Taliban appeared confident Monday it will sign a peace agreement with the United States by the end of this month in the presence of international guarantors to close the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.
A senior leader of the insurgent group told a pro-Taliban news agency the two adversaries have mutually decided to hold the signing ceremony in Doha, the capital of Qatar, which hosted the 18-month U.S.-Taliban negotiations.
Abdul Salam Hanafi, a central member of the Taliban negotiating team and its political office in Doha, gave no date, but insurgent sources have previously said the deal would be inked on February 29.
Hanafi said representatives from all neighbors of Afghanistan, the United Nations Security Council, Islamic countries and European Union will be among those invited to witness the ceremony.
Soon after the agreement is inked, he added, Americans and the Afghan government will set free 5,000 insurgent prisoners, and the Taliban would also release around 1,000 detainees from its custody.
Washington, however, has stressed it would move forward on a peace agreement with the Taliban only if a mutually agreed 7-day reduction in violence truce is successfully implemented in Afghanistan.
Source : VOA