Hours After Major Attack Taliban Holds Talks With US Envoy in Qatar

Taliban hoping for timeline on US pullout from Afghanistan

After rejecting a Pakistani proposal for peace talks in Islamabad, the Taliban met with US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar, beginning a new round of talks on ending the Afghan War.

This didn’t just come after rejecting Pakistan’s proposal, which the Taliban didn’t want to take part in because the Afghan government was invited, but also just hours after the Taliban launched a major bombing attack in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province, killing 126 security forces.

Reports are that the focus of the talks was on ending the war, with the Taliban hoping to get a specific timeline for the withdrawal of US troops. This is likely even a higher priority after US requests for long-term bases threatened to derail the talks.

There have been talks that the US was hoping to have this deal wrapped up around April or May, which is why the US wanted the Afghan government to delay their election. This is doubly true because there were reports the US was offering the Taliban positions within a new, interim Afghan government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.