U.S.-Taliban Talks Resume, Peace Deal Nears

  • Presidential Spokeswoman Sediq Sediqqi told a news conference in Kabul yesterday that while the talks were still ongoing, the Afghan government was not fully informed about the process.
  • According to Mr. Siddiqui, the great hope of the Afghan government and the people is that these talks will end the war.
  • Taliban and US officials in Doha are monitoring the peace talks and are looking forward to progress and results.

The Afghan Presidential Palace says it is monitoring ongoing peace talks between the Taliban and US in the Qatari capital, Doha. Talks to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan entered their ninth round on Tuesday.  The day starts with an effort to finalize the final points of the agreement.

Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s office in Qatar, wrote on Twitter that talks with the American group will continue until 10:30 am local time.

The Afghan Peace Process refers to ongoing efforts, through proposals and negotiations, to end the War in Afghanistan (2001-Present). Direct talks involving the Taliban began in 2018, mostly in Doha, Qatar. An agreement between the Taliban and United States would be followed by a phased withdrawal of the 20,000 American troops stationed in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, presidential spokeswoman Sediq Sediqqi told a news conference in Kabul yesterday that while the talks were still ongoing, the Afghan government was not fully informed about the process. But Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for Afghan peace, will formally inform the Afghan government if both sides reach a decision.

“Now they are talking, no conclusions have been reached; we are closely monitoring the situation and are confident that if Mr. Khalilzad and his team reach any conclusion, the Afghan government is officially informed before the agreement is announced.”

According to Mr. Siddiqui, the great hope of the Afghan government and the people is that these talks will end the war.

The War in Afghanistan (2001-Present) is, as of 2010, the longest war in American history. According to a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, as of January 31, 2018, 229 districts (56.3%) were under Afghan government control, 59 districts (14.5%) were under Taliban control, and the remaining 119 districts (29.2%) remained contested.

Taliban-US Talks From Beginning

So far, seven rounds of talks have been held between US diplomats and Taliban representatives; six meetings in Doha, Qatar and one in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

  • Round 1: Talks between the two sides first began in Qatar Doha on October 7, 2018.
  • Round 2: The second round of talks was held on November 7th in Doha, Qatar.
  • Round 3: On December 3, 2018, the third round of talks took place in  Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which lasted three days, and the Taliban allowed the Afghan delegation to participate in the talks.
  • Round 4: The fourth round of talks was held in Qatar Doha on January 3.
  • Round 5: For the fifth time, Taliban and US representatives meet in Doha on February 7, 2019, and Zalmai Khalilzad first met the Taliban’s deputy Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Doha. The talks for this phase lasted for 7 days.
  • Round 6: The sixth round lasted for nine days. Both sides announced that this time there was much progress in the talks.
  • Round 7: The seventh round of talks began on June 9th in Doha, Qatar and lasted several days. During this stage of talks, the two sides made further progress and came up with ideas on some issues.

According to Zalmai Khalilzad, in the eighth round, which began on August 3, talks with the Taliban were fruitful and discussed technical details, but this time contrary to predictions, no significant progress was announced at the end of the talks. The ninth phase began on August 22, continuing until today (Tuesday, August 27).

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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