After two days of talks with the United States in Abu Dhabi, the Taliban on Wednesday said that its representatives discussed withdrawal of foreign troops, halting of airstrikes against civilians and release of prisoners.
In a statement, Taliban, however, said that its policy about a ceasefire and talks with Kabul, interim government, elections and other internal matters was already known beforehand and would not be discussed “because the root cause of all problems and biggest obstacle to peace is the occupation of Afghanistan and bringing it to an end.”
“Future negotiating meetings shall continue after deliberations and consultations by both sides with their respective leaderships,” the statement said.
The meeting is the latest in a series of stepped up diplomatic efforts to end the 17-year-old Afghan conflict to an end.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said that the meetings in Abu Dhabi were “productive.”
“Had productive meetings in UAE with Afghan and international partners to promote intra-Afghan dialogue towards ending the conflict in Afghanistan,” Khalilzad said on Twitter. “Grateful to UAE for hosting talks and their commitment to founder’s legacy as Year of Zayed ends and Year of Tolerance begins.”
The meetings in Abu Dhabi involved were participated also by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Another round of talks will be held in Abu Dhabi to complete the Afghanistan reconciliation process, UAE’s official news agency said.