News ID: 262651
Published: 0602 GMT December 07, 2019

US resumes talks with Taliban in Qatar: Source

US resumes talks with Taliban in Qatar: Source

The United States has resumed talks with the Taliban militant group in Qatar, according to a US source, days after President Donald Trump paid a surprise visit to the war-torn country and hinted at a resumption of the negotiations.

"The US rejoined talks today in Doha. The focus of discussion will be reduction of violence that leads to intra-Afghan negotiations and a ceasefire," said the source on Saturday who was briefed on the matter, Presstv Reported.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman in Qatar Suhail Shaheen confirmed the talks had resumed "from where they were broken off".

"Talks revolved around the signing of an agreement and related issues," he tweeted.

"Negotiations will resume tomorrow,” he added.

The US State Department said on Wednesday that the special US representative for Afghanistan was set to restart talks with the Taliban.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday to discuss suggestions for the resumption of peace negotiations with the militant group, according to a State Department statement.

“Ambassador Khalilzad will rejoin talks with the Taliban to discuss steps that could lead to intra-Afghan negotiations and a peaceful settlement of the war, specifically a reduction in violence that leads to a ceasefire," the State Department said.

Khalilzad has reportedly flown to Doha, where the militant group maintains a political office, and will “rejoin talks with the Taliban to discuss steps that could lead to intra-Afghan negotiations and a peaceful settlement of the war, specifically a reduction in violence that leads to a ceasefire.”

Trump ended yearlong talks with the Taliban in September, when an agreement appeared imminent that could end America's longest war. He said at the time that the decision to end the talks was in response to a deadly bomb attack by the militants that killed 12 people in the Afghan capital on September 5, including an American soldier.

The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 and overthrew a Taliban regime in power at the time, vowing to bring stability to the war-ravaged nation.

However, US forces have remained bogged down there through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump.

More than 14,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan and Trump has repeatedly expressed his frustration with their continued deployment.

 
 
   
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