US envoy meets Taliban post Afghan talks

DOHA: Washington’s top negotiator with the Taliban held fresh talks with the militants Tuesday after the group took part in an Afghan summit aimed at forging a “roadmap to peace”.

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“I had a meeting with the Taliban this morning. Headed to China now and then will return to Washington to report and consult on the #AfghanPeaceProcess,” US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted.

Washington has said it wants to seal a political deal with the Taliban ahead of Afghan presidential polls due in September to allow foreign forces to begin to withdraw.

The United States held six days of talks in Qatar with the Taliban which ran until Saturday.

Khalilzad said they had been the “most productive” negotiations so far, while the Taliban said they were “happy with progress”.

Those discussions paused for Sunday and Monday’s Afghan summit, which saw around 70 delegates including the Taliban discuss the future of the country.

The US did not participate in the summit, which was organised by Qatar and Germany.

The two-day meeting concluded with a joint statement pledging women’s rights and a “roadmap for peace”, although stopped short of a ceasefire after 18 years of conflict.

AFP.

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