US-Taliban talks: Special US official has ‘working lunch’ with top Taliban leader
Kabul, Feb 26: The US's war in Afghanistan is in its 18th year now and almost two decades of experience showed that military solution hasn't really worked in paving way for peace in the war-ravaged nation. Now, the two sides have agreed to hold talks and the Taliban have sent its A-team to the peace talks that took off on Monday, February 25, and aim at ending the US's war in Afghanistan that has killed over 2,300 troops, NBC News reported.
The US and its allies had invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks but hasn't been able to exit the country since then.
Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the Taliban movement and a power commander in their ranks, reached Doha on Sunday, February 24, for the talks, NBC News quoted two Taliban members as saying. Baradar is believed to have the authority to sell a deal to the rank-and-file members who are engaged in a fight to topple the US-backed government in Afghanistan since 2001.
US's special representative Zalmay Khalilzad met Baradar for the first time as the talks began in the capital of Qatar on Monday.
Khalilzad said he had a working lunch with Baradar before they shifted to the talks.
In January, the US-Taliban talks in Qatar made progress in putting an end to 17 years of conflict in the country, the US said. The sides also saw long discussions and they had "draft framework" that included a promise on behalf of the Taliban to prevent Afghanistan from turning into a safe shelter for international terror outfits.
Afghan special envoy for peace Mohammad Omar Daudzai praised Baradar's participation in the talks.