Published: Sat, January 20, 2018
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

Russian Federation offers platform for direct Afghan-Taliban talks

Russian Federation offers platform for direct Afghan-Taliban talks

Haley said Afghan officials told the UN envoys that "they're starting to see the Taliban concede; they are starting to see them move toward coming to the table" as a result of a new strategy the United States put in place last summer that has given the US military a freer hand to work with Afghan forces to defeat the Taliban.

Ambassador Haley, who is also a member of President Trump's cabinet, said her takeaway from her visit is that "the entire peace process is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned".

"They feel confident that the Taliban will be coming to the table", Haley said.

The Taliban have quietly sent political negotiators to Pakistan from its Qatar-based office amid a new diplomatic push for encouraging peace talks between parties to the Afghanistan war. "The U.S. policy on Afghanistan is working".

"They did ask us for consensus to put further pressure on Pakistan to come to the table and change their behaviour", Haley said.

Under this programme, Pakistan Army officers have been trained in the USA at a cost of $52 million over the past 15 years and an allocation of another $4 million has been made for the current year.

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He also said the Trump administration was open for more cooperation with India on fighting the terrorism.

According to a VOA report quoting local media, a three-member Taliban delegation headed by Shahabuddin Dilawar, who is also a senior member of the Doha office, is now in Islamabad.

Both sides officially denied holding any talks.

It is yet not clear if the talks had any outcome or not but Monday's visit by Taliban delegation to Islamabad followed an unofficial meeting organized in Turkey.

Sources privy of the development within the Taliban ranks have told Reuters that supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada had approved Monday's exploratory meeting in Islamabad on restarting talks to end the war that kills thousands of Afghans each year.

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