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Khalilzad, Taliban discuss negotiation resumption

AT News Report

KABUL: Sources close to the recent meeting between the US envoy for Afghan peace, Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives in Pakistan, said that the two parties discussed the resumption of negotiations.

Khalilzad held nine rounds of negotiations with the Taliban since last year and they were almost at the eve of a deal in early September that the US president Donald Trump in an abrupt tweet, called the talks off, ignoring Khalilzad’s all one-year long efforts.

Now, a Taliban team led by the group’s co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is in Islmabad to meet Pakistani authorities and Khalilzad who is also there.

The sources have told Western media that Khalilzad met Baradar and his companions on Friday in Islamabad, where he asked for the release of two lecturers of the American University in Afghanistan who are in Taliban custody for more than two years as well as the restart of negotiations.

The sources said it was not clear if the next round of negotiations would begin with some preconditions.

“Contacts between Taliban and Americans were never cut after the negotiations were stopped. Yes, Taliban delegation led by Mullah Baradar met Khalilzad in Pakistan and the latter has returned to the US,” said Nazar Mohammad Motmaen, a political analyst.

The government of Afghanistan emphasizes on an immediate ceasefire before the restart of negotiations.

“I think the future negotiations have been discussed. But we don’t know whether the past talks are to be continued or new talks,” Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban official said.

The High Peace Council says that any talks without a truce would not be effective.

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