Sources said Sunday that the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, and a Taliban delegation led by Mullah Ghani Baradar, discussed ways to resume the peace talks. But it is not yet clear about what preconditions new talks might require.
Reuters reported that the Taliban delegation also had a meeting with Khalilzad on Friday, and along with peace talks they discussed two kidnapped university professors– American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks–held by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani group.
“Talks between the Taliban and the US representatives have never stopped. Yes, the Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has visited Zalmay Khalilzad in Pakistan, and Khalilzad has returned to the United States again,” said Nazar Mohammad Motmaen, a political affairs activist.
A former Taliban commander Sayed Akbar Agha said he does not know if the talks will resume where they left off, or start from the beginning—the details are not clear.
The Afghan High Peace Council called on both sides to declare a ceasefire to coincide with the peace talks, if and when they happen.
“I am sure that peace talks will resume but it would be better if a ceasefire was also part of the talks, because continued fighting will have a negative impact,” said Haji Din Mohammad, the deputy head of the High Peace Council.
Sources say Taliban and US officials are now consulting on how to resume talks.
The original US-Taliban talks lasted almost a year and were conducted over nine sessions, during which both sides finalized an agreement “in principle.” But the negotiations were called off last month by President Trump after a deadly attack by the Taliban in Kabul that killed 12 people, including an American soldier.