Taliban confirms talks with USA in Qatar

Taliban confirms talks with USA in Qatar

Taliban confirms talks with USA in Qatar

Khalilzad met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul a day after his reported meeting with Taliban leaders, to follow up as he wraps up his meetings with senior ministers on a diplomatic tour.

At least 19 people were killed and more than 30 injured in an explosion at an election rally for a woman standing as a candidate in Afghanistan's parliamentary polls on October 20, officials said on Saturday.

The Trump administration told its top diplomats in mid-July to seek direct talks with the Taliban.

"Neither side agreed to accept the other's demands immediately, but they agreed to meet again and find a solution to the conflict", he said.

The U.S. last month appointed Afghan-born Khalilzad as its special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation.

"The United States shares the aspirations of all Afghans for a peaceful Afghanistan where all Afghans see themselves included". A senior official aware of the discussions said the Taliban also said that the presence of foreign troops in the country would forestall any deal. A Taliban official who was part of the four-person delegation to that meeting said it produced "very positive signals".

However, the statement did not provide further details about the meeting. "If the group [Taliban] is serious about the peace process it will do the same and punish those responsible", he said in a tweet.

Khalilzad told journalists here Monday that he had urged that both Afghan and Taliban leaders name members of negotiating teams.

And in the western province of Herat, gunmen attacked the campaign office of a candidate, killing a security guard and a child.

"I am at the scene - it's blood and terror".

"There are a number of wounded people in critical condition", he said.

There was no immediate comment from US officials about Khalilzad's latest visit to Kabul. "However, according to my sources it was postponed to give some time to Khalilzad for preparations and now it is expected to be held in the coming weeks", Tahir Khan, an Islamabad-based Afghan affairs analyst said. There was no mention of a meeting with the Taliban.

In the southern province of Zabul, the police chief of Mizan district was killed in clashes with Taliban fighters on Saturday night, the provincial governor, Rahmatullah Yarmal, said.

"Although they have not agreed on anything. they could bypass the Afghan government".

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