US says lat­est talks with the Tal­iban are ‘most pro­duc­tive’ so far

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

The sev­enth round of peace talks be­tween the United States and Afghanista­n’s Tal­iban that are on­go­ing in Qatar are the “most pro­duc­tive” so far, US en­voy Zal­may Khalilzad said Satur­day.

The in­sur­gents have been meet­ing with the US en­voy in Doha to ham­mer out a deal that would see the US mil­i­tary quit Afghanista­n in re­turn for var­i­ous guar­an­tees.

“Th­ese six days have been the most pro­duc­tive of the rounds we’ve had with the Tal­ibs,” Khalilzad said in Qatar.

“Es­sen­tially the four items we have been talk­ing about ever since we started [are] terrorism, with­drawal of for­eign troops, in­ter-afghan ne­go­ti­a­tions and di­alogue, and cease-fire.

“For the first time I can say we have had sub­stan­tive dis­cus­sions, ne­go­ti­a­tions, and progress on all four is­sues.”

The en­voy added that di­rect Us-tal­iban talks seek­ing to end nearly 18 years of war would pause for a sep­a­rate two­day meet­ing of Afghan rep­re­sen­ta­tives and re­sume on Tues­day.

Suhail Sha­heen, the spokesman for the Tal­iban’s of­fice in Qatar, said they were pleased with the US dis­cus­sions so far.

“We are happy with progress and hope the rest of the work is also done. We have not faced any ob­sta­cles yet,” he tweeted.

About 60 Afghan del­e­gates were ex­pected to at­tend the so-called in­tra-afghan di­alogue on Sun­day and Mon­day, in­clud­ing po­lit­i­cal fig­ures, women and var­i­ous Afghan stake­hold­ers.

The Tal­iban, who have stead­fastly re­fused to ne­go­ti­ate with the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani, have stressed that those at­tend­ing the in­tra-afghan talks will only do so in a “per­sonal ca­pac­ity.”

The US does not par­tic­i­pate in the in­tra-afghan talks, which en­voy Khalilzad said would not be on the “Tal­iban’s terms.” The US en­voy likewise em­pha­sized that those at­tend­ing the in­tra-afghan di­alogue would be there only in their per­sonal ca­pac­ity.

“Se­nior [Afghan] gov­ern­ment peo­ple are here – the pres­i­dent’s se­nior ad­vis­ers... ev­ery­one, as far as the Afghan di­alogue is con­cerned, is here in their per­sonal ca­pac­ity,” said Khalilzad.

Ob­servers have crit­i­cized the US for al­low­ing its own talks with the Tal­iban to pro­ceed with­out the for­mal par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Afghan gov­ern­ment, which the Tal­iban la­bel Wash­ing­ton’s pup­pet.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.