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8 December, 2019 04:09:22 AM

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‘US resumes peace talks with Taliban in Doha’

AFP, Doha
‘US resumes peace talks with Taliban in Doha’
This file photo shows Saudi officials and Taliban negotiator attending the intra-Afghan Dialogue talks in the Qatari capital Doha on July 7, 2019. AFP Photo

Washington resumed talks with the Taliban in Qatar yesterday, a US source said, three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted diplomatic efforts that could end America’s longest war.

In September, the United States and the Taliban had appeared on the verge of signing a deal that would have seen Washington begin withdrawing thousands of troops in return for security guarantees.

It was also expected to pave the way towards direct talks between the Taliban and the government in Kabul and, ultimately, a possible peace agreement after more than 18 years of war. But that same month, Trump abruptly called the year-long effort “dead” and withdrew an invitation to the insurgents to join secret talks at his US retreat at Camp David after the killing of an American soldier.

“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 US source briefed on efforts to end almost two decades of war in Afghanistan. During a surprise visit to a US military base in Afghanistan last week, Trump said the Taliban “wants to make a deal.”

Even during the stall in talks, US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad has in recent weeks made a whistle-stop tour of nations with a stake in Afghan peace, including Pakistan.

He recently arranged a captive swap in which the Taliban released an American and an Australian academic whom they had held hostage for three years.

The Taliban have until now refused to negotiate with the Afghan government, which they consider an illegitimate regime.

EA

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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