The US military is willing to withdraw troops from five bases in Afghanistan under a negotiated settlement with the Taliban, the US envoy who leads negotiations with the insurgents said on Monday.
 US emissary Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been negotiating with the Taliban for about a year, said the withdrawal would take place within four months of a final deal being approved, provided the rebel group meets its commitments.
 "We have decided, if conditions are met, that we will leave in 135 days five bases in which we are currently present," Khalilzad told Tolo News, in an excerpt from the interview posted on the Afghan media vehicle's Twitter account.
 While awaiting an imminent agreement between Americans and Taliban, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met with Khalilzad, according to official sources.
 "We are about to strike a deal that will reduce violence and pave the way for Afghans to come together and negotiate an honorable and lasting peace," said Khalilzad, who is in Doha, where he is conducting negotiations with the insurgents.
 The two sides have been negotiating a future peace agreement for months that could result in a sharp reduction in the US military presence in Afghanistan in exchange for guarantees against terrorism.
 An Afghan source who requested anonymity said Khalilzad arrived Sunday night in Kabul and met with Ghani to inform him about the new round of negotiations, which has just been concluded in Doha.
 So far, the Afghan government has been left out of the Doha talks because the Taliban consider him a "puppet" from Washington.
 The United States sent troops to Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington by Al Qaeda, a group welcomed by the former Taliban regime.

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