Taliban Confirms US Claims Of Informal Talks

The group said that some preliminary meetings have taken place in the Qatari capital, Doha, where the Taliban have an office, and could pave the way for the resumption of formal peace talks.

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The Taliban has confirmed a claim by US President Donald Trump that Washington has resumed informal talks.

“The Taliban wants to make a deal and we are meeting with them and we are saying it has to be a ceasefire and they didn’t want to do a ceasefire and now they do want to do a ceasefire, I believe. It will probably work out that way,” he told reporters.

Donald Trump at Thanksgiving dinner in Afghanistan with US troops
During an unannounced Thanksgiving visit on Thursday to US troops in Afghanistan, Trump said the US was “meeting with” the Taliban.

Taliban’s official spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said earlier on Friday:

“It is way too early to talk about the resumption of talks for now”.

The bumpy road to peace

Taliban
The conversation has been resumed nearly after two months of an abrupt end.

Trump’s visit came a week after a prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Earlier this year, the US reached a deal in principle with the Taliban to pull out troops from the country and wind down the 18-year war in return for security guarantees.

About 13,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan, 18 years after the US invaded the country in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The US president had more recently suggested that the negotiations could get under way again.

Taliban
A US citizen and an Australian held hostage since 2016 were released along with 10 Afghan soldiers in exchange for three senior members of the Haqqani Network, which is linked to the Taliban.

The Taliban have refused to negotiate formally with the Afghan government, but diplomatic efforts to foster dialogue continue.

During Thursday’s visit, Trump met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Ghani said on Twitter that the two leaders had “discussed the important progress we have jointly made in our military efforts in the battlefield,” and the necessity of a ceasefire with the Taliban.

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