KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban said on Wednesday it was close to an agreement with U.S. officials on a deal that would see U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan in exchange for a Taliban promise that the country would not become a haven for international militants.

Negotiations over how to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan have been held in Doha, capital of Qatar, since late last year. The ninth round of talks began last week.

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Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook.

Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States wants to assure U.S. troops and veterans that the 17-year-old war in his country will not go on forever.

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U.S. Army photo

A vial of sand from hallowed ground sits on Lt. Col. Kwenton Kuhlman’s desk in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

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