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U.S. resumes talks with Taliban in Doha

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Washington resumed talks with the Taliban in Qatar on Saturday, a U.S. source said, three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted diplomatic efforts that could end America’s longest war. Talks were called off in September when the two sides were on the verge of signing a deal.

“The U.S. rejoined talks today in Doha. The focus of discussion will be reduction of violence that leads to intra-Afghan negotiations and a ceasefire,” said the U.S. source briefed on efforts.

During a surprise visit to a U.S. military base in Afghanistan last week, Mr. Trump said the Taliban “wants to make a deal.”

Even during the stall in talks, U.S. negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad made a whistle-stop tour of nations with a stake in Afghan peace, including Pakistan. He recently arranged a captive swap in which the Taliban released an American and an Australian academic whom they had held hostage for three years.

An agreement with the Taliban is expected to have two main pillars — a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and a commitment by the militants not to offer sanctuary to jihadists.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 2:33:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-resumes-talks-with-taliban-in-doha/article30233155.ece

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