US envoy meets one of the founders of the Taliban to end the conflict in Afghanistan


 

Release date: 2019/2/25 22:14 • 15 times read
{International: Al Furat News} A senior US envoy, one of the founders of the Taliban, met for the first time in a bid to broker peace in Afghanistan as the latest round of talks began in Qatar.
US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said he had lunch with Mullah Abdul Ghani Pradar before “talks start”. 
Pakistan recently released Mullah Barader from his prison. 
His presence in Qatar is believed to increase the chance of agreement. 
The United States says talks between Washington and the Taliban in Qatar have made progress in ending a 17-year conflict in Afghanistan. 
Khalilzad said the January talks were “more positive than previous talks,” but added that some issues were still pending. 
He said an “initial framework” for a peace agreement had been agreed, based on the United States commitment to withdraw international troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s commitment not to allow armed groups not to be active in its territory. 
The Taliban also said the talks had progressed, but a spokesman added talks on “outstanding issues” would continue.
The Taliban have so far refused to hold direct talks with Afghan officials, whom the Taliban call “puppets”. The Taliban have said they will not start talks with the government until a firm date has been set for a US troop withdrawal. 
Mullah Pradar, a deputy to Taliban leader Mullah Hibatollah Akhunzadeh, took over the Taliban’s political office in Qatar in January but has so far remained in Pakistan and has not appeared at any meeting or public meeting. 
Mullah Pradar held a number of key positions in the Taliban until he was held by the Pakistani authorities in 2010. 
The Taliban’s strength and influence have grown since the departure of foreign combat troops in Afghanistan in 2014. 
Last month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that more than 4,500 security forces The country has been killed since taking office in 2014.
The number of residents in Taliban-controlled areas or areas with clear military representation and regular attacks is estimated at 15 million, half the population of Afghanistan. 
On Sunday, UN data showed that more civilians died in Afghanistan last year than in any other year. 
In December, reports indicated that the United States planned to withdraw troops of 7,000 troops, accounting for half of the US forces in Afghanistan.

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