Khalilzad meets with Taliban in Doha to discuss peace talks progress

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad met with the Taliban delegation, led by the group’s deputy leader Mullah Baradar, in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday to discuss the latest developments around the Afghan peace process.

The Taliban’s political spokesman, Mohammad Naeem stated that the two sides discussed the US-Taliban deal for bringing peace in Afghanistan, the release of the remaining Taliban prisoners, the removal of the names of Taliban members including their leader from the blacklist, and the Intra-Afghan talks.

This comes after the first meeting of the leadership of the High Council for the National Reconciliation was held at the Presidential Palace on Saturday which prompted warm welcomes by the local and international communities.

Hours after the meeting, the US said in a statement that the Afghan leaders across the political spectrum have unified to make decisions and mobilize support for a just and lasting peace.

“All sides of the conflict should come together and chart a path to peace,” the US stated.

“As an authoritative body on peace, the High Council and its Leadership Committee will provide counsel and guidance to the Islamic Republic negotiating team with the Taliban on the terms of an agreement on a political roadmap, power-sharing, and a permanent ceasefire to end the country’s long war,” the statement read.