US Envoy Meets Taliban Negotiator Ahead of Afghan Peace Talks

Khalilzad discussed details of starting talks

Some 5,000 Taliban prisoners were to be released before intra-Afghan peace talks. Now, with half a dozen left, the talks seem imminent. US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad is making a last minute visit to Doha to meet the Taliban’s lead negotiator, Mullah Baradar, ahead of this.

The Taliban issued a statement about the meeting, saying the focus was issues related to the prisoner releases and the start of the intra-Afghan talks. There is still no official date set for the talks to start, at least not one that’s been publicly announced.

Baradar has been leading talks for two years on the Taliban side, though he may be getting sidelined a bit, with Abdul Hakim Haqqani named the head of a new negotiating team for the Afghan process.

The Taliban tried to downplay this, saying that they were trying to reassure people who had questions about the process, and about Baradar seemingly doing everything himself.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.