Talks between U.S. and Taliban officials aimed at arranging peace negotiations in Afghanistan were set for a second day on Tuesday after discussions around the future of foreign forces and a possible six-month ceasefire, Taliban sources said, as per Reuters.
The three-day meeting in Abu Dhabi is visibly the third that U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has met Taliban representatives as diplomatic efforts to end the 17-year war upped this year.
On Monday, a Taliban delegation met officials from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates ahead of their meeting with Khalilzad.
Taliban officials, speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters that the U.S. delegation was pressing for a six-month ceasefire as well as an agreement to name Taliban representatives to a future caretaker government.
The officials said the Taliban, fighting to drive foreign forces from Afghanistan and bring in their version of strict Islamic law, were resisting a ceasefire as they felt it would damage their cause and help U.S. and Afghan forces.
“If these three countries – Saudi Arabia, UAE and Pakistan – become guarantors and the U.S. appoints the head of a caretaker government in Afghanistan that we nominate, then we can think about a ceasefire,” one senior Taliban official said.
There was no immediate comment from the U.S. embassy in Kabul.