Talks on a pact which would allow the United States to end its longest war and withdraw its troops from Afghanistan ended on Monday without an agreement. Both sides would however consult their leaders on the next steps.

The talks, which were held in Qatar since late last year  brought hope of a deal allowing US troops to leave in exchange for a Taliban promise that Afghanistan would not be used by militants as a base from which to plot attacks abroad.

The United States is however pushing for the Taliban to agree on power-sharing talks with the US-backed government and a total ceasefire.

Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid said the eighth round of talks which a US official said involved technical details of the implementation of the pact, ended in the early hours of Tuesday and that both sides would consult their leaders.

“We prolonged our meeting 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,” said an official who declined to be identified.