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Extended Talks With Taliban Seen As Positive Step

Source: Reuters

January 24 2019


Talks between U.S. officials and representatives of the Taliban in Qatar have been extended after progress was made in the initial sessions, reports Reuters. 

The meetings were scheduled to last for two days but were extended on Wednesday and again on Thursday as the two sides tried to outline a cease-fire agreement.

Thursday's meeting was expected to focus on fostering a dialogue between the Afghan government and the Taliban and establishing a cease-fire mechanism.

The first two days of talks covered a proposed U.S. withdrawal, said Taliban sources familiar with the proceedings. 

U.S. officials asked for Taliban assurances that Afghanistan would not be used to stage attacks against the U.S. and its allies, the sources said. 

Current talks in Doha are the fourth publicly acknowledged talks since Zalmay Khalilzad was appointed U.S. special peace envoy to Afghanistan in September 2018. 

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