September 23, 2018

Taliban preparing for new peace talks with the United States

By Khaama Press - Tue Sep 11 2018, 2:08 pm

The Taliban group leadership is preparing for new peace talks with the United States amid reports the political leaders of the group are engaged in talks to appoint a delegation for the negotiations.

Sources privy of the development within the Taliban ranks have told Reuters that the leaders of the group were meeting to discuss the makeup of the three- or four-person delegation and the subjects to be discussed.

They said the Taliban would like to discuss an exchange of prisoners and could hold another meeting soon if the United States showed seriousness in talks by releasing prisoners.

“This meeting will determine the future talks and we would see if the U.S. is serious and sincere in negotiation,” one of the officials involved said.

“We would hand over a list of prisoners languishing in jails across Afghanistan. If they set free our prisoners then we would meet again for another great cause,” the sources added.

The Afghan and U.S. officials have not formally commented regarding the latest development so far.

This comes as a senior U.S. diplomat met with the Taliban political representatives over a month ago to seek ways for the revival of peace talks.

The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed last week that the former U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has been officially appointed as the Special U.S. Adviser on Afghanistan.

Speaking to reports ahead of the departure to Pakistan, Pompeo said Khalilzad would assist the State Department with the ongoing efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

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