Terrorism & Insurgency

Taliban likely to increase attacks in Afghanistan despite resumption of US peace talks, critical obstacles remain

04 March 2019

High-level US-Taliban negotiations between the Taliban's political chief Abdul Ghani Baradar and US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad resumed in Qatar on 25 February, and have continued for five days to date.

Taliban spokesperson Sohail Shahin said that the talks were focused on the details of a framework deal agreed in Qatar in January, when the US indicated a willingness to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan in return for a Taliban commitment to prevent Al-Qaeda and other transnational militant groups from using Afghanistan as a base of operations.

US officials clarified that any withdrawal was contingent on a Taliban ceasefire and opening negotiations with the Afghan government – two issues that the Taliban delegation in January reportedly lacked the authority to discuss.

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