Afghanistan : the taliban announce talks with the United States in Islamabad

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The taliban announced Wednesday that “at the invitation of the government of Pakistan,” a meeting with representatives of the United States will be held on Monday in Islamabad in the framework of the talks in view of reaching a peace agreement in Afghanistan.

“A meeting is scheduled between the teams of negotiators (of the taliban) and the United States on February 18 in Islamabad,” writes their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a press release.

He added that the representatives of the rebel group will meet ” also the Prime minister of pakistan Imran Khan to discuss in depth the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan “.

Neither Islamabad nor Washington confirmed such appointment in the immediate future.

This announcement comes on the background of the visit of the emissary of the United States to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad this week in Brussels, where he met representatives of the european Union and Nato.

The us State department had announced Sunday that, in addition to the belgian capital he also had to submit in the near future in Germany, Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

For its part, the afghan president Ashraf Ghani has left on Wednesday in Kabul to attend in Munich at the 55th Conference on Security, which opens on Friday, announced in a tweet from his spokesman, Haroon Chakhansuri.

Despite his calls for dialogue, president Ghani has so far been kept out of the discussions between the taliban and the United States, who have met several times since the summer.

The taliban have also discussed the beginning of February in Moscow with members of the opposition in his government, including ex-president Hamid Karzai led the delegation.

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In their press release Wednesday, the taliban have once again advanced the date of 25 February for a new meeting with the team of us negotiators in Doha.

The two parties met for the last time at the end of January for six days in Qatar, where the taliban have a political office, and had been a state of ” progress “.

Mr. Khalilzad had emphasized that a “draft” of the agreement had been found but that “much work” remained to be done.

“Our common goal is to achieve a peace agreement (and not a withdrawal agreement), worthy of the sacrifices made during decades of war “, has tweeted Monday, Mr. Khalilzad after his appointment in Brussels, adding that ” the renewal of the dialogue intra-afghan is the immediate priority “.

The taliban announced on Tuesday formed a team of 14 negotiators, compared to 11 previously, in view of the coming peace talks.