Talks on a deal that would allow the United States to end its longest war and withdraw troops from Afghanistan have ended without agreement. Both sides will now consult their leaders on the next steps, according to the Taliban.

The negotiations have been held in Qatar since late last year. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the eighth round of talks ended in the early hours on Monday. A member of the Taliban negotiating team in Qatar was quoted as saying that the meeting had been prolonged “with the hope of reaching a peace agreement but it could not happen.”

“We discussed a number of issues and developed consensus on some of them but couldn’t reach a conclusion,” the official said.

The US negotiators were demanding that the Taliban announce a ceasefire and start direct talks with the Afghan government, Reuters reported.

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