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U.S.-Taliban Peace Talks Enter Second Day in UAE

(Last Updated On: December 19, 2018)

The peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban representatives aimed at arranging negotiations in Afghanistan were set for second day in the United Arab Emirates.  

The three-day meeting in Abu Dhabi began on Monday, where the Taliban delegation met officials from, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the UAE as part of the diplomatic moves to end 17 years of war in Afghanistan.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the Taliban officials told Reuters that the U.S. delegation was pressing for a six-month ceasefire as well as an agreement to name Taliban representatives to a future caretaker government as the peace talks between the sides entered its second day on Tuesday.

The officials said the Taliban, fighting to drive foreign forces from Afghanistan and bring in their version of strict Islamic law, were resisting a ceasefire as they felt it would damage their cause and help U.S. and Afghan forces.

“If these three countries – Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Pakistan – become guarantors and the U.S. appoints the head of a caretaker government in Afghanistan that we nominate, then we can think about a ceasefire,” one senior Taliban official told Reuters.

A team of Afghan government has reached Abu Dhabi to begin talks with the Taliban delegation, however, the Taliban has refused to directly negotiate with the team as the armed group considers Kabul government as “illegitimate”.

“The Afghan government is ready to begin negotiations with the Taliban with no preconditions, that is why the delegation is in Abu Dhabi now,” said Mujib Rahman Rahimi, Spokesman of the Chief Executive Office.

Previous the U.S. and Taliban delegations’ meetings were held in Qatar, where the Taliban maintains a political office, but a push to include Saudi Arabia, which is hostile to the gas-rich Gulf state, prompted a change of venue to Abu Dhabi.

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