New round of US-Taliban talks to begin Monday

New round of US-Taliban talks to begin Monday

A new round of peace talks between the U.S. and Afghan Taliban will begin on Monday in Qatar’s capital Doha.
“Another round of peace talks between the Taliban and the U.S. will start in Doha tomorrow on February 25,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman said in a statement.
A two-point agenda will come under discussion which include withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and a guarantee from Taliban that Afghan territory will never be used by militants against any country, Mujahid added.
The Taliban side will be led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai as Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the newly appointed head of the Taliban’s political office, will not be attending the meeting.
“Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will not participate in the meeting as he announced a negotiation team […] and authorized it to carry out negotiations with the U.S.” Mujahid said.
Baradar, along with several other Taliban leaders are unable to go abroad since they are on the blacklist of the U.S. and UN which bars them from international travel.
On Friday, U.S. top envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said U.S. and Russia discussed options to securing travel waivers for Taliban.
“Amb Kabulov [Russian top envoy] and I also discussed travel barriers to talks. We will explore options for securing UN travel waivers for Taliban negotiators to participate in peace talks,” Khalilzad tweeted after his meeting with Kabulov.


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