Taliban leaders met with US officials
The Taliban confirms that its representatives met with a team of American negotiators in Doha on Oct 12.
The Americans’ stated goal for the nascent talks is to have the Taliban reach a political settlement with the Afghan government. However, the Taliban recently rejected Afghanistan’s elections, calling for attacks to disrupt them. And the Taliban has consistently rejected President Ashraf Ghani’s government as illegitimate.
The Taliban lists members of its “negotiation team” from “the Political Office of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” as “the respected” Al Haj Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanikzai (the “head” of the office), Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi (the “deputy” of the political office) and other members, including Shahabuddin Delawar, Qari Deen Muhammad Hanif, Al Haj Muhammad Zahid Ahmadzai and Muhammad Sohail Shaheen.
These men met with a US delegation led by Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, who was recently appointed as the US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation. According to the State Department, Khalilzad is visiting Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as part of an effort “to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.”
It is important to note that before the USA claimed that Russia started negotiations with the Taliban. Any proof was not provided.