US, Taliban to resume talks on Saturday

US, Taliban to resume talks on Saturday

Agency News

Doha, Mar 2: The US negotiators and Taliban representatives will resume their talks in Doha on Saturday after a two-day break.

The talks were called off for two days aimed at internal deliberations between working groups of the two sides. The latest meetings follow marathon talks held last month that saw the US and the Taliban chalking a draft framework focused on a potential US troop withdrawal and a pact to prevent Afghanistan from harbouring terrorists, Tolo News reported.

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Thursday that the meetings in the last three days with the group’s members in Doha were “productive”. "We continue to take slow, steady steps toward understanding and eventually peace", he said.

Khalilzad has been trying to negotiate a resolution of the 17-year war in Afghanistan, America's longest. The Taliban, who harbored al-Qaida and its leader Osama bin Laden, ruled Afghanistan before the 2001 US-led invasion after the Sept 11 attacks.

The Taliban have made a major comeback in recent years. Today, they carry out near-daily attacks on Afghan security forces. UNI