Saturday, September 22, 2018





A new glimmer of hopes for peace

Efforts to find a political settlement for Afghan conflict have gathered fresh momentum following a meeting between Taliban representatives and American diplomats held in Qatar. As part of the renewed push, the US State Department has appointed Afghan-born Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad as US special envoy for Kabul. Khalilzad has reportedly sent positive messages to the Taliban ahead of his official meeting with the group’s representatives. According to some knowledgeable Taliban sources, the messages were about the release of Taliban prisoners and some other issues related to peace process. The Taliban are said to be willing to discuss a potential prisoner swap deal with the United States during the first phase of peace talks. The direct Taliban-US talks is a major step towards achieving peace in Afghanistan, since the Taliban have long been demanding to talk to the US as the main side in the Afghan conflict instead of Afghan government, which, according to them, lacks the necessary authority. That will satisfy one of the key demands the Taliban have long asked for, which can also prove effective in building trust. Discussions during the initial phase of peace talks should revolve around trust-building...

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