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Taliban delegation met US envoy during Islamabad visit, says sources

Zalmay Khalilzad (Photo: AFP)

A Taliban delegation had contact with the US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad. This is the first time since US President Donald Trump had called off the peace talks with the Taliban.

According to a report in Reuters, the meeting between the two did not mean that it was the resumption of the peace talks. Citing sources who confirmed the meeting, the meeting was aimed at rebuilding the confidence between the two.

Talks were called off after a Taliban attack had killed a US soldier. The Afghan Peace Process has been critical for the United States. The talks between the Taliban and the United States to find a solution without involving the Afghan government has been a bone of contention for many.

Pakistan and the United States on the sidelines of the United Nations did talk to each other about the Afghan Peace Process and Taliban. According to Reuters, a State Department spokesperson said that Khalilzad had spent ‘several days’ in Pakistan for consultation with government officials and authorities.

The Taliban had earlier met with Pakistani officials earlier in the week to discuss the possibility for a resumption of the peace talks between the parties. The United States had considered the participation of Pakistan as vital in order to find a political solution to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan.

There has been a concern in the US security community following the withdrawal of the US forces in the war-torn country fearing that it would create a void which could plunge the country into conflict again. Future of the talks are still gloomy but the meeting between Khalilzad and Taliban is a sign for reviving the talks between the US and Taliban.

(Inputs from agencies)

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