Taliban officials say that they are in the process of putting together a delegation of three or four people to send to a new round of peace talks with the US. The talks are expected to focus on an exchange of prisoners.
The Taliban officials say that this is going to be a gauge of the US seriousness to participate in talks. They say they have a substantial list of prisoners in jail across Afghanistan, and if some of them are freed in a deal they’d be open to holding further meetings.
The first round of US-Taliban talks was held in July, where the Taliban met a State Department delegation in Doha. The Afghan government was not happy with those talks, complaining they were worried the US is cutting them out.
Afghan officials have yet to comment on this latest report of talks, but after the last talks, US officials had assured them any talks would be done only under direct Afghan government control. Clearly, that is no longer the case, but it is not sure what caused the change.