US, Taliban to resume talks

Kabul: The talks between the United States and Taliban representatives will resume on Saturday after the two-day break.

According to Tolo News, the talks were called off for two days for consultation between working groups of the two sides.

The talks are likely to further discuss the US forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan while ensuring the country’s territory is not being used as a threat to any other country, a comprehensive ceasefire and direct talks with the Afghan government.

Taliban at multiple occasions have denied direct talks with the government. However, the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani-led government has expressed a desire to directly hold talks with Taliban “for sustainable peace” in Afghanistan.

“This has been decided that Afghans should make their future government by their own. There are issues such as elections, prisoners and the blacklist, which should be discussed,” said Mohammad Daud Abidi, head of Afghan People Peace Jigra.

The new round of talks was started on February 25 but after three days of “solid talks”, both sides — US and Taliban — mutually decided to call off talks to further discuss.

Recently, Ghani has also announced the grand consultative Jigra in the month of March in order to hear the views and opinions of people about peace talks with the Taliban.

In February, Russia hosted peace talks in which various Taliban members were invited. However, the Afghan government was not invited. The government had expressed their reservation and said Moscow talks were held against the spirit of Afghan-led and owned peace process.

The government also lodged a complaint with the United Nations over a recent trip by UN-blacklisted Taliban members to Moscow to attend talks.