• publish: 25 February 2019
  • time: 12:29 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 7184
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The 5th round of direct peace talks between America and Taliban kicks off today

The 5th round of direct peace talks between America and Taliban are set to resume in Doha today (Monday).

The peace talks are said to be held between an expanded team of Taliban negotiators and a US delegation led by special representative Zalmay Khalilzad.

In a statement Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that talks between the two sides began on Monday (today).

The main agenda would be a complete withdrawal of foreign forces and an assurance that the Afghan territory would not be used for terrorism against the US.

But other sources said a ceasefire and face-to-face talks with the Afghan government would also be discussed.

The insurgent group confirmed that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, leading the Taliban negotiating team, had arrived in Qatar on a private plane.

Mullah Muttaqi, Abdul Latif Mansoor (nephew of Nasrullah Mansoor), Abdul Manan Omari (brother of Mullah Omar) and Matiul Haq (son of MaulviKhalis) arrived in Doha along with Baradar.

Sohail Shaheen, spokesman for Taliban’s political office in Qatar, told a Pakistani newspaper the talks would be followed by meetings of two joint working committees.

The committees would draw up plans for the withdrawal of foreign troops and preventing Afghanistan from being used again for terrorist attacks, Daily Times quoted Shaheen as saying.

The Taliban’s supreme leader has named a 14-member team for negotiations with the US, including six members from the powerful decision-making leadership council.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who leads Taliban’s political commission, also heads the movement’s political bureau in Qatar. Baradar will lead the Taliban delegation.

About marathon negotiations held so far in Qatar. Shaheen said: “We talked about a complete withdrawal of foreign forces, which is an important thing for us. The second issue was related to US concerns that Afghan soil should not be used for terrorism against them.”

In the last round of talks on Jan 21-26, Shaheen recalled, they had agreed on setting up working groups. “So we are satisfied in the sense that we will be now working to implement it. We will make progress in the next round.”

On Sunday, Baradar arrived in Qatar for the highest-level negotiations yet between the Taliban and US envoys. Today’s meeting is likely to focus on the details of a framework deal.

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