Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 2-U.S. to meet Taliban in Islamabad on Feb. 18 -Taliban spokesman


UPDATE 2-U.S. to meet Taliban in Islamabad on Feb. 18 -Taliban spokesman
Taliban negotiators will meet their U.S. counterparts on Feb. 18 in Pakistan's capital Islamabad as part of accelerating diplomacy to end more than 17 years of war in Afghanistan, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Wednesday. But a U.S. State Department representative said in a statement that the United States had "not received a formal invitation to any talks."

The talks would come a week ahead of previously scheduled negotiations between the two sides in Qatar on Feb. 25. Mujahid said in a statement that the Qatar talks would still take place as scheduled. Mujahid said his side would also meet Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan to hold "comprehensive discussions about Pakistan-Afghanistan relations".

While he said the Taliban delegation would meet the U.S. team, he did not specify any meetings with team head, U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. Khalilzad is due in Pakistan ahead of the Qatar talks as part of a six-country swing through Europe and the Middle East as he tries to build support for efforts to end America's longest war.

Both the hardline Islamist movement and the United States hailed progress after the end of the last round of negotiations in Qatar last month but Western diplomats familiar with discussions say that many tough hurdles lie ahead. The U.S. side is expected to push hard for a ceasefire between Taliban insurgents and foreign-backed Afghan forces before any agreement on the withdrawal of U.S.-led foreign troops.

Taliban officials say they want all foreign troops out before a ceasefire, but would still welcome non-military foreign help to re-build the country. Washington is also seeking more details on fresh assurances from the Taliban that it would not allow Afghanistan to be used by groups such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State to attack the United States and its allies, Western diplomats said.

It is also pushing for the Taliban to talk to the Afghan government, which it has so far shut out of talks, branding it as a puppet of Washington. U.S. President Donald Trump used his State of the Union address last week to say progress in negotiations with the Taliban would allow a reduction in the approximately 14,000 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan and a renewed "focus on counter terrorism." (Additional reporting and writing by Greg Torode; Additional reporting by Jonathan Landay in Washington; Editing by Toby Chopra and Lisa Shumaker)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Future of Food: Technology fostering the road to global food security

Technological innovation can help address most of the pressing issues facing the world today including food security by enhancing productivity, improving financial services, managing resources, addressing environmental concerns, etc....

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Now it’s a war, Uganda deploys army to combat locust swarms

Its for the first time after 1986, the locust swarms have attacked Uganda twice in a season. With the increasing number of countries of Africa under attack by locust swarms, the problem seems to have taken a regional paradigm. Its very diff...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...

Videos

Latest News

At least 20 killed as train collides with bus at unmanned crossing in Pak's Sindh

A horrific collision between a speeding train and a passenger bus at an unmanned crossing killed at least 20 people, including children, and left scores injured in Pakistans southern Sindh province, officials said The accident took place on...

Hawks, Collins prove dominant in win over Nets

John Collins totaled 33 points and 13 rebounds and the host Atlanta Hawks pushed the Brooklyn Nets into eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 141-118 victory on Friday night. The Hawks ended an eight-game losing streak to the Nets 2...

Infantino backs plan for 'daylight' offside change

Belfast, Feb 29 AFP Calls for football to introduce a daylight offside rule in a bid to provide greater clarity have been backed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino This seasons English Premier League has witnessed several controversies revo...

Williamson, Pelicans roll over Cavaliers

Rookie Zion Williamson scored 24 points for his 10th consecutive game with at least 20, as the host New Orleans Pelicans routed the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers 116-104 on Friday night. Brandon Ingram scored 29, Jrue Holiday added 22 and ET...

Give Feedback