Afghan Taliban announce talks with U.S

Afghan Taliban announce talks with U.S

The negotiation team of the Taliban will also meet with the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to hold comprehensive discussions about Pak-Afghan relations and issues pertaining to Afghan refugees and Afghan businessmen.

The Taliban on Wednesday said its negotiators would next week meet the top USA and Pakistani officials including Prime Minister Imran Khan during a key round of talks in Islamabad as part of the ongoing Afghan peace talks.

The unexpected talks in Islamabad will come on the heels of a two-day visit to Pakistan by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

American and Taliban officials are set to meet Monday in Pakistan for a new round of direct peace negotiations aimed at paving the way for a political settlement to the 17-year war in Afghanistan.

Zalmay Khalilzad, a former ambassador to Afghanistan, held extensive talks with the militants last month in Qatar, where the Taliban have an office.

Taliban negotiators will meet their USA counterparts on Feb 18 in Pakistan's capital Islamabad as part of accelerating diplomacy to end more than 17 years of war in Afghanistan, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Wednesday.

Washington and Kabul have long accused Islamabad of sheltering Taliban leaders on its soil - charges Pakistani officials reject.

Amazon scraps plan to build a headquarters in New York City
But it later chose to split its the jobs between Long Island City and Virginia, in order to prevent a talent squeeze. The online retailer had not yet acquired any land for the project, which would make it easy to scrap its plans.

UK schoolgirl who joined IS in Syria 'wants to come home'
IS has lost control of most of the territory it overran, including its strongholds of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. Nigel Farage has given his damaging verdict on an ISIS bride who ran away to Syria and now wants to return to Britain.

Scott Morrison reopens Christmas Island detention centre
Christmas Island is an Australian territory located more than 1,500 kilometers to the northwest of the continent. Mr Morrison said the law would weaken the nation's tough border policies and embolden human traffickers.

Khalilzad is due to arrive in Pakistan on a six-country trip that also includes Belgium, Germany, Turkey, Qatar, and Afghanistan.

Pakistan maintains it has arranged ongoing U.S. -Taliban negotiations to help promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

The United States has been attempting to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table with officials in Kabul.

The US side is expected to push hard for a ceasefire between Taliban fighters and foreign-backed Afghan forces before any agreement on the withdrawal of US-led foreign troops.

But Khalilzad acknowledged in his public talk Pakistan's "positive" role, saying the country "has tried to facilitate talks between the Taliban and the USA and also favors intra-Afghan dialogue, including between the Taliban and the government [in Kabul]". The president has already announced that the United States will withdraw all 2,000 of its troops from Syria, saying he wants to reduce USA involvement in costly wars.

USA troops have been in Afghanistan since an October 2001 invasion that brought down the Taliban government after it refused to hand over Al-Qaida members, including Osama bin Laden, blamed for launching the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Related Articles