ISLAMABAD: The next round of talks between the US officials and the Taliban will be held in Qatar this month, Taliban this message to Us official in Qatar.
The US special envoy on Afghanistan Zalmy Khalil Zad is also present in Qatar, however the decision for the inclusion of other stakeholders in the talks yet in the doldrums.
The United Arab Emirates, which hosted the Taliban and the US officials in Abu Dhabi on Dec 17-18, had stated that a new round of talks would be held in Abu Dhabi ‘to complete the Afghanistan reconciliation process’.
However, Taliban sources confided that the talks are planned in Doha, where the Taliban have a political office. They also disputed the claim by the Afghan officials that Saudi Arabia will soon host Afghan talks.
Taliban and the US officials have not reached any agreement despite having at least four rounds of talks started in July. A Taliban source, privy to the talks, is hopeful some progress in the next round.
Taliban political negotiators travelled to Iran this week ahead of their new round of talks and discussed “post-invasion and regional peace” with Iranian officials, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says.
Earlier the Iranian foreign ministry said Taliban have held ‘intensive talks’ with Iranian officials in Tehran that were aimed at ‘facilitating dialogues between the Afghan groups and Kabul administration to advance the peace process in the country’.