19 December 2018

U.S., Taliban Meet in U.A.E. to Discuss Afghanistan Peace

By Eltaf Najafizada

The Afghan Taliban said it was holding another round of talks with U.S. officials in the U.A.E. on Monday after peace negotiations failed last month.

Representatives from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the U.A.E. will also attend the meeting, Zabihullah Mujahed, a spokesman for the militant group, said in a statement released on late Sunday evening. Pakistan has also confirmed that talks will be taking place and hopes the meeting “will end bloodshed in Afghanistan and bring peace to the region,” Mohammad Faisal, a foreign ministry spokesman in Islamabad, said on Twitter.

The talks are being held as U.S. President Donald Trump pushes to end the 17-year war through negotiations. Discussions held this year have so far failed to reach any tangible deal. A spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani couldn’t immediately comment.

Ghani recently formed a 12-member team to hold peace talks with the insurgent group that controls or is contesting about half the country. In response, the Taliban said talking with Ghani’s administration is “waste of time” because they see his government as illegitimate, adding it would talk only with the U.S.

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