Taliban Meet U.S. Officials In UAE Amid Growing Peace Efforts

The Taliban representatives met with the U.S. officials in UAE on Monday amid growing efforts to end 17 years of conflict in Afghanistan.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman of the Taliban in a statement said that representatives from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the UAE will also attend the meeting.

The meeting is a part of diplomatic efforts to resolve the Afghan conflict, which follows at least two rounds of talks between the Taliban representatives and U.S. special envoy for Afghan Peace Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar.

Western diplomats told Reuters that the decision to move the venue of the talks from Doha to the UAE underscored efforts to involve Saudi Arabia, which is hostile to Qatar, more closely in the process and to exert influence on its ally, Pakistan.

Afghan government has not taken part directly in the talks, but it has sent its team of negotiators to begin talks with representatives of the Taliban, U.S. and Saudi Arabia in the UAE, the Chief Executive Office’s Spokesman Mujib Rahman Ariz said.

Taliban, however, said in a statement on Monday that they had no plans to meet the representatives of the Afghan government in the UAE.