Published: Tue, November 20, 2018

Taliban hold talks with US envoy in Qatar

Taliban hold talks with US envoy in Qatar

He said the USA believes the Taliban knows "that "at some point" it has to reconcile". Taliban officials said Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 that Pakistan has released Abdul Samad Sani, a USA -designated terrorist who served as the Afghan Central Bank governor during the militants' rule, along with a lower-ranking commander named Salahuddin. The US embassy in Kabul sent a recording of Khalilzad´s remarks to foreign journalists based in Kabul, who had not been invited to attend the briefing.

The statement comes a day after United States envoy Zalmay Khalilzad expressed hopes in Kabul that a peace deal could be struck before the Afghan presidential election, scheduled for April 20 next year. The Associated Press reported on Sunday that Khalilzad held three days of talks with the Taliban in the Gulf state of Qatar.

"The second round of talks went on for three days". "The Taliban [is] saying they do not believe they can succeed militarily, that they would like to see the problems that remain resolved by peaceful means, by political negotiations". Khalilzad called for the selection of negotiating teams to enable talks between the militants and Kabul to start.

The United States has spoken "loudly and proudly" for equal rights for men and women, said Khalilzad, but how _ or even if _those rights are woven into Afghanistan's "roadmap for the future", will be decided by Afghans.

On Saturday, US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joseph Dunford said: "We used the term stalemate a year ago and relatively speaking it hasn't changed much, but. we do believe that the Taliban know that at some point they have to reconcile".

The NATO-led Resolute Support mission involves 41 nations contributing more than 12,000 soldiers, equipment and training for Afghan forces.

Dunford said that while there would never be a "military solution" on its own to bring peace to Afghanistan, the U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners were working to leverage military, political and economic pressure to convince the Taliban it was in their interest to negotiate a political solution to the crisis with the government in Kabul.

"The Afghan government wants peace", the US envoy also said.

"Available measures of security in Afghanistan, including total security incidents, population control, and civilian casualties, showed little change", it said.

"At the meeting, Dr. Khalilzad briefed the president about his trips and provided detailed information about his meetings with the Taliban and other officials", said President Ashraf Ghani's spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri.

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