Taliban Appoints Negotiator to 'Properly Handle' U.S. Talks
Taliban Appoints Negotiator to 'Properly Handle' U.S. Talks
The meeting came even though the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on Tuesday
26 January, 2019, 15:27
Talks between US and Taliban officials in Qatar entered a fourth day on Thursday, with the two sides trying to establish a mechanism for a ceasefire in the 17-year Afghan war and open dialogue between the insurgents and the Afghan government.
The Taliban has so far refused to engage with the Afghan government in a peace process, dismissing it as an illegitimate entity and "American puppet".
On Jauary 14, on a four-nation trip, top United States peace negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad visited Beijing and met with Chinese officials. The US agreement pertaining to pulling out troops from the war-torn Afghanistan will likely to be announced today, the report said.
Both sides have remained tight-lipped about the latest talks.
There was no immediate comment from the US or the Taliban on the reported progress in their talks.
And abiding fears about how Afghan government forces would withstand the Taliban threat without U.S. military support have been heightened by reports that U.S. President Donald Trump wants to bring home nearly half of the 14,000 U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan.
During this round of talks, the USA special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has asked Taliban to hold talks with Afghan government and that the talks should aimed at reforms and not for a Taliban controlled Afghanistan.
Speaking during the World Economic Forum meeting this week in Davos, President Ghani for the first time publicly criticized the Khalilzad-led peace effort and indicated the Afghan government may not accept any possible outcome of the Doha talks.
It is not clear whether the Taliban has agreed to engage in direct talks with President Ashraf Ghani's national unity government in Afghanistan, an administration that critics say remains fragile, marred with political controversies and suffers from "disunity".
The Taliban have refused to meet with the Afghan government, which they view as a U.S. puppet.
"There's discussion, but this discussion needs to be shared back".
Newly appointed Baradar will also hold the additional post of third deputy of Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the leader of Taliban and work with Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, a veteran Taliban official who has been running the group's political office in Qatar since 2015 and has participated in the latest rounds of peace talks.
Aside from the humanitarian consequences of the fighting, it has cost the United States almost $1 trillion while its military has lost almost 2,500 personnel.
Baradar, who was released from a prison in Pakistan in October previous year, has been authorised to lead the political team and take decisions. America wants long term bases in the country however.
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