Taliban confirms talks with US special envoy for Afghan peace

The Taliban has confirmed that its leaders had held talks with the US Special Envoy for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar’s capital on Friday, said a statement from the group posted on its website on Sunday.

The Taliban delegation, according to the statement, included the chief of political office in Doha Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, deputy head Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi as well as Shahabuddin Delawar, Qari Deen Mohammad Hanif, Mohammad Zahid Ahmadzi and Mohammad Suhil Shaheen, reports Xinhua news agency.

Taliban’s purported spokesman Zabihullah Majahid, who posted the statement, asserted that the “representatives of the Islamic Emirate” at the meeting “described the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan as the main obstacle in achieving peace” and demanded their withdrawal.

“Keeping that in mind, efforts must be made towards a true and intra-Afghan solution. At the end both sides agreed to continue holding meetings in the future,” the statement added.

The Afghan-born US veteran diplomat Khalilzad after touring Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and meeting Taliban leaders visited Kabul on Saturday and held talks with leaders and politicians within and outside the government.

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