According to France-Presse sources, negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban, which stalled in September, may resume soon.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with participants in talks between the official government of Afghanistan and the Taliban leadership Saturday. Negotiations took place in Qatar’s capital Doha.
Shortly before Pompeo’s visit to Doha, a missile attack on densely populated areas of Kabul killed at least eight people. The terrorist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shelling.
Pompeo held separate talks with representatives of Kabul and the Taliban.
“I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on how we can increase the likelihood of a successful outcome,” the secretary of state said during a meeting with the Afghan government, noting everyone’s interest in such a scenario.
He also met with Qatari ruler Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammad bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.
The Pentagon announced this week that about 2,000 U.S. troops would soon withdraw from Afghanistan, accelerating the February agreement between Washington and the Taliban that would see a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan by mid-2021.
The current talks between the Taliban and Kabul are taking place for the first time in the country’s history. They began in Doha on September 12 but ended almost immediately because of disagreements between the parties over the issues under discussion and even the interpretation of Islamic principles.
Several sources told AFP on Friday that both sides seemed to have managed to resolve a number of differences. The Taliban and Afghan authorities have diametrically opposed views on two issues concerning the application of Islamic law and the impact of the u.s. and the Taliban deal on the future truce agreement in Afghanistan.