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2019-10-05 › US-Taliban talks in Pakistan about two hostages: Afghan official

Talks between the United States and the Taliban are about two American prisoners, an Afghan official said on Saturday.

On Thursday, US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad reportedly met with a Taliban delegation in Pakistan in first known contact between the sides since US President Donald Trump cancelled peace talks last month.

Addressing Afghanistan’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs, Edris Zaman, said that the talks between US and the Taliban were mainly about two American hostages, which were taking place following Pakistan’s mediation.

He said that peace talks without presence of Afghan government and without it being consulted won’t be beneficial.

He said that the Taliban’s visit to regional countries yielded no results, but “encourage the terrorist group” against the Afghan people.

He also said that the Taliban’s visit to Pakistan was not about peace but release of two American hostages.

US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad had held nine rounds of talks before Trump declared them dead following a deadly attack in Kabul.

Zaman said that any peace process that excludes Afghan government would fail. “All roads leading to peace passes through Kabul,” he said.

For peace, the Taliban should enter into negotiations with the Afghan government and agree to ceasefire before the talks start, Zaman said.

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