Taliban official says group spoke with U.S

Lamar Ellis
July 31, 2018

He said the meeting was held in Qatar, where the Taleban maintained a political office since 2013.

Similar efforts to hold peace talks between the Americans and the Taliban in Doha in 2015 faltered after the Afghan government denounced the process.

The U.S.is reportedly building off last month's first ever nationwide ceasefire.

However, according to the New York Times, the US State Department did not deny that its diplomats had taken part in any talks.

This comes as a Taliban official had earlier termed the preliminary talks with the USA officials as "very useful" and promised to elect a delegation for the formal talks if some progress was made during the initial stage, it has been reported.

Taliban officials told several United States media outlets on Saturday that they have held face-to-face meetings with American diplomats in Doha last week.

Any talks about a future political setup would be between the Taliban and the Afghan government, the statement said. They added that there were "very positive signals" from the meeting, and that it was held in a "friendly atmosphere".

"The Taleban want to solve their problems with the Americans to end the invasion", he said.

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No comment from U.S.

Not all of the roughly 14,000 United States troops now in Afghanistan have pulled back to cities.

The Afghanistan government led by USA ally President Ashraf Ghani is ready to engage in peace talks with the Taliban, alongside the U.S. to participate only as observers.

In Kabul, the Afghanistan President's office, ARG, on Saturday welcomed any support for peace efforts. As stated by the Taliban, we can expect more and more such meeting between the US, Afghanistan and the Taliban for purposeful dialogues.

"Should Afghan troops pull back now, defending remote pockets of the country would mostly be left to the local police, which are more poorly trained than the military and far more vulnerable to Taliban violence", the report said, noting that in some areas, police officers have cut deals with the Taliban to protect themselves from attacks.

His release was eventually secured in May 2014 in exchange for the five Taliban prisoners, who are living in Doha.

In a report published on Sunday, The New York Times, citing three unnamed United States officials, said the plan was outlined in a previously undisclosed part of the war strategy that President Donald Trump announced a year ago.

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