New talks with Taliban are on the way

US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad for Afghanistan has left for Qatar for further talks with the Taliban. He wants to persuade extremist fighters to stop their military offensive and negotiate a political settlement, the US State Department reports Monday (local time) in a statement.

“During several planned three-day meetings, representatives of countries in the region and beyond, as well as multilateral organizations, will press for a reduction in violence, a cease-fire and a commitment not to recognize a government imposed by force,” the ministry reports.

The Taliban have been on a major offensive since foreign troops started the final phase of their withdrawal earlier this year. In the last few days, they have acquired at least four provincial capitals. Meanwhile, the Muslim fighters have a large part of the country firmly in their hands.

The Taliban already ruled a large part of the country in the 1990s. Their regime fell when the US invaded the country after the terrorist attacks on US territory on September 11, 2001. The Taliban have been fighting guerrilla warfare over the last 20 years against government forces in Kabul and international forces in their country.

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