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Taliban, US officials discuss troop withdrawal, ceasefire

AT-KABUL: The Taliban and US representatives discussed the America’s military drawdown and a long-term truce as they sat Tuesday for the fourth face to face talks in Qatar’s capital Doha, sources close to Taliban told the Kabul News broadcaster.

Taliban announced Monday that representatives from their Doha-based political office started talks with the US envoy for Afghanistan peace Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar, the event that the militants earlier called off, citing difference in agenda.

The insurgents emphasize on the US pullout, prisoner swap, lifting their leaders’ names from the black list and prevention of Afghanistan from being used against other states.

Now, sources say that the US side had accepted to focus on their demands plus the long-term armistice.

The government is apparently unhappy with the talks as the militants refuse to sit with Kabul representatives regarding the government as US puppet.

The first day of the talks came at a time when Taliban fighters attacked an intelligence training facility in Wardak province, killing tens and injuring tens more.

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