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US resumes Afghan peace talks with Taliban, government: State Dept

US resumes Afghan peace talks with Taliban, government: State Dept

Reuters
WASHINGTON
A US special envoy will travel on Tuesday to resume peace talks, as the United States seeks an end to the conflict that will enable it to withdraw American troops from the country after nearly 20 years.
The US special representative to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, will resume talks with the Taliban, “as part of an overall effort to facilitate a peace process that ends the conflict in Afghanistan,” the State Department said in a statement.
Khalilzad will consult with leaders of the Afghan government in Kabul and encourage negotiations between the two sides, it said.
The envoy on Friday briefed President Donald Trump on the status of negotiations with the Taliban on a US troop pullout and the potential for a political settlement between the warring sides.
Trump told reporters two days later that the United States was having “very good discussions” with both the Taliban and the Afghan government.
Trump, who has repeatedly questioned the billions of dollars spent in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, has made no secret of his desire to pull out of Afghanistan after 19 years of war triggered by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
About 14,000 US troops remain engaged in America’s longest war, training and advising Afghan security forces and conducting counterinsurgency operations against militant groups such as al Qaeda and Islamic State’s local affiliate, as well as the Taliban, the country’s former Islamist rulers.

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