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Afghanistan: Taliban Will Hold Fresh Talks With US Officials in UAE

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Local Editor

Afghanistan’s Taliban militant group said it is set to hold a fresh round of talks with US officials in the United Arab Emirates, despite earlier reports that suggested the meeting would take place in neighboring Pakistan.

In further details, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a Twitter post that delegates from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the UAE will also attend Monday’s discussions.

The group has already held two meetings with US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar.

Earlier last month, the latest round took place at the Taliban’s political headquarters in the country, where the Taliban said they failed to reach any agreement with the United States, citing dissatisfaction with a deadline set by Khalilzad to end the war.

The militant outfit issued a statement last month, demanding the lifting of sanctions against its leaders, the release of prisoners and the recognition of its office in Qatar.

The Taliban, however, have so far refused to deal directly with the government in Kabul, which they consider as “illegitimate.”

Kabul, on the other hand, is strongly opposed to any recognition of the Qatar office, which was established at the request of Washington in 2013 to “facilitate peace talks.”

The Taliban’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an end in the wake of a US-led invasion in 2001, but 17 years on, the militant group continues to flex its muscles against the government and the foreign troops remaining on Afghan soil.

The Taliban have strengthened their grip over the past three years, with the government in Kabul controlling just 56 percent of the country, down from 72 percent in 2015, a recent US government report showed.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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