Taleban to continue talks with US special envoy
kabul — Taleban leaders will continue to meet for discussions with the newly appointed US special envoy for peace efforts in Afghanistan, the Taleban said on Saturday, a move that could accelerate diplomatic engagement between the warring sides.
Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghanborn US diplomat, met Taleban leaders in Qatar on Friday in an effort to find a way to end the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan.
“Both sides spoke (about) an end to the occupation and a peaceful solution to the Afghan issue ... Both sides agreed to continue meeting in the future,” Taleban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement.
Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on Saturday and briefed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani about his 10day tour of four countries, which ended with the meeting with leaders of the militant group.
A senior member of the Taleban said Khalilzad had asked the Taleban leadership, based in Doha, to declare a ceasefire in Afghanistan during upcoming parliamentary polls. “Both sides discuss prospects of peace and the US presence in Afghanistan,” said another Taleban official, requesting anonymity. —