The Associated Press reports that high-ranking members of the Taliban have held three days of talks in Qatar with the US peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad.
The Taliban "are not losing" in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the top USA military officer, said last week.
A Taliban official and another individual close to the group confirmed the talks, which are aimed at renewing the Afghan peace process and eventually winding down America's longest war.
November 18:In what could be perceived as a major setback to U.S military intervention in Afghanistan to contain Taliban, a high ranking official in the United States military has said that Taliban is ot losing in Afghanistan and the stalemate reached a year ago has not changed much.
"The Afghan government wants peace", he said.
"The Taliban are saying that they don't believe that they can succeed militarily".
He said the US believes the Taliban knows "that "at some point" it has to reconcile". The Taliban have long refused United States demands to negotiate with the Western-backed government in Kabul, which the rebels view as a puppet regime.
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FILE - In this January 5, 2009 file photo, then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Zalmay Khalilzad, speaks to reporters at the United Nations headquarters.
Khalilzad was in the Afghan capital after a second round of regional meetings with top government officials to coordinate efforts on ending the 17-year war. Saying he would like to see a settlement "sooner rather than later", he urged both sides in Afghanistan's protracted conflict to consider next year's presidential elections, scheduled for April 20, as the deadline for peace.
Two senior US officials confirmed that the second round of peace talks ended last week and the Taliban expected Khalilzad to visit Qatar for a meeting before the end of 2018.
"Its natural, they (the Taliban) will be interested to be part of the system, but when and how and through which method, these are all the items which can be discussed once talks have started with them", said Saleem.
"Rumors which are circulating these days about the establishment of an interim administration or the postponement of presidential elections are baseless", added Chakhansuri.
The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said last week that Ambassador Khalilzad briefed President Ghani regarding the ongoing efforts for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and his planned trips to certain countries. Both were former inmates at the USA prison in Guantanamo Bay.