Taliban announces surprise talks with US in Pakistan, will also meet Imran Khan

US State Department spokesperson said in a statement that Washington had “noted” the announcement but had not received a formal invitation to any talks.

Taliban announces surprise talks with US in Pakistan, will also meet Imran Khan
Representational Image: ANI
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 14 Feb 2019 04:16 PM
New Delhi: In a surprise announcement, the Afghan Taliban has stated that it will be meeting with the United States envoys in the Pakistani capital Islamabad for talks next week, reports said, even as a round of negotiations is already scheduled in Qatar by the end of this month.

The organisation said on Wednesday, its negotiators would next week meet the top US and Pakistani officials including Prime Minister Imran Khan as part of the ongoing Afghan peace talks.


Washington and Islamabad did not immediately confirm the announcement by Taliban.

US State Department spokesperson said in a statement that Washington had “noted” the announcement but had not received a formal invitation to any talks.

On the "formal invitation of the government of Pakistan, another meeting is scheduled to take place between the negotiation teams of the Islamic Emirate and the US on 18th of February, 2019 in Islamabad," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement.

Mujahid also stated that his side would also meet Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan to hold "comprehensive discussions about Pakistan-Afghanistan relations".

A week later, the Doha talks are scheduled to follow.

The Taliban and the US have come to the negotiating table in a bid to end the 17-year-long war in Afghanistan. Pakistan is one of the few countries which had recognized the Taliban regime before the US washed it away in 2001. Taliban announced talks in Pakistan, days after it snubbed the country's role in negotiation with the US.

READ: Taliban snubs Pakistan's role in dialogue with US; says conducting talks "on own initiative"

As of now, Taliban controls nearly half of Afghanistan.

US special representative  for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad had recently said after six days of talks with  the Taliban representatives in Doha last month, that the country has made "significant progress" in its peace talks with the Taliban.

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