Taleban, US pause talks following ‘solid’ talks

DOHA (AFP) – The United States (US) and the Taleban have paused negotiations in Doha, with the diplomatic push aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan set to restart over the weekend following “solid” talks between the adversaries.

The latest meetings follow marathon talks last month that saw the US and the Taleban walk away with a “draft framework” focussed on a potential US troop withdrawal and a pact to prevent Afghanistan from harbouring terrorists.

“Emerging from three solid days of talks with the Taleban in #Doha. Meetings were productive,” tweeted US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is leading the American side during the negotiations.

“We continue to take slow, steady steps toward understanding and eventually #peace,” he said.

“Both sides will take the next two days for internal deliberations, with plans to regroup on Saturday,” Khalilzad added.

Taleban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid confirmed the pause, adding the insurgents were “committed to the current peace process along with peace”.

The US has continued to push for a ceasefire in the war-torn country and the opening of negotiations between the Taleban and the Kabul government.

The Taleban however have repeatedly refused to meet with officials of the Afghan government, whom they dismiss as “puppets”.