- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 7, 2019

The U.S. and Taliban have resumed peace talks, a spokesperson for the group said Saturday, nearly three months since President Trump declared the negotiations “dead.”

Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban, said on social media that representatives from both sides resurrected discussions that abruptly stalled in September.

“Talks revolved around the signing of an agreement and related issues,” he wrote on Twitter, roughly translated into English. “Negotiations will resume tomorrow.”

The talks resumed in Doha, the capital of Qatar, and involved a “reduction of violence that leads to intra-Afghan negotiations and a ceasefire,” said a U.S. government source, several international news outlets reported.

Anas Haqqani, a senior leader of the Haqqani network aligned to the Taliban, participated in negotiations on behalf of the latter, Mr. Shaheen tweeted. He was among three prisoners released by the government of Afghanistan last month in a swap that also saw the Taliban release an American, Kevin King.



The U.S. was represented in Doha by Zalmay Khalilzad, its special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, said the U.S. source, the AFP news agency and Al Jazeera each reported.

The State Department did not immediately return an inquiry from The Washington Times.

Fighting between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents has been at the center of long-lasting yet unsuccessful efforts by the U.S. to broker a cease-fire in the country.

Mr. Trump announced in September that he had canceled a previously unannounced round of peace talks scheduled to take place at Camp David in Maryland after the Taliban took credit for an attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier and several others.

More recently, he said during an unannounced visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan late last month that peace talks had restarted.

“The Taliban wants to make a deal. We’ll see if they want to make a deal. It’s got to be a real deal, but we’ll see. But they want to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said last month.

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