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US to Begin 7th Round of Talks with No Changes on Taliban’s Position

(Last Updated On: June 15, 2019)

The seventh round of direct talks between U.S. and Taliban negotiators will begin in the near future in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

On this round of talks, the U.S. chief negotiator Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is eyeing to include the intra-Afghan dialogue and a ceasefire on the agenda as well.

However, sources familiar with the talks say that the Taliban will only negotiate over foreign troops withdrawal from Afghanistan in return for their pledge not to welcome foreign extremists.

Nazar Mohammad Mutmaeen, a pro-Taliban analyst said that the Taliban delegation will not negotiate over internal issues even if Khalilzad bring the issue of ceasefire and intra-Afghan dialogue up at the meeting.

Mawlawi Qalamuddin, a former Taliban official added that following the seventh round of talks, Germany and Qatar are expected to host the intra-Afghan dialogue where the representatives of the Afghan government cannot participate.

The U.S. peace envoy, who is in Kabul meeting with representatives from different walks of society, is expected to finalize the timetable of foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan and Taliban’s guarantees that they will not welcome foreign extremists.

However, Khalilzad has also stressed that all talks would take place in accordance with the principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.

“We expect that the Taliban accept the launch of an intra-Afghan dialogue to have a result. Without intra-Afghan dialogue, peace is not possible,” said Abdul Rahman Wardak, a lawmaker from Wardak province.

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