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US envoy for Afghan peace meets Taliban representatives in Doha: Report


Doha, Oct 13: The American envoy for Afghanistan peace efforts met Taliban representatives here on Friday as the Donald Trump Administration looked to find a way out to end the war in Afghanistan which will complete its 17th year in 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad

Citing a source having knowledge about the gathering, the WSJ said US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met the Taliban officials in Doha. It was the second time in four months that the US officials had face-to-face talks with the Taliban.

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The WSJ, however, said it was not clear what the two sides discussed. Khalilzad, it can be noted, is trying to reach a negotiation with the Taliban. He is currently on his first trip in the capacity of the special representative.

In a 11-day trip, Khalilzad will visit Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia besides Afghanistan, the report added.

The US State Department, however, refused to acknowledge whether the meeting took place in Doha.

"We can't confirm specific meetings or the content of diplomatic conversations," a State Department spokesperson said on the condition of anonymity.

"Special Representative Khalilzad held a number of meetings with a wide range of stakeholders as part of his trip to explore how best to reach a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan."

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State State Department deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asia Alice Wells met Taliban representatives in July for what was called talks about talks.

A member of the Taliban team which was present at the meeting lauded the meeting saying it produced "very positive signals", the report added.

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