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Reports: Khalilzad Returns To Qatar For More U.S.-Taliban Talks

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad (left) met with Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul on September 2.

U.S. negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad is back in the Qatari capital for further talks with the Taliban aimed at ending the nearly 18-year war in Afghanistan, unidentified officials are quoted as saying.

"Ambassador Khalilzad has returned to Doha to continue talks," a State Department spokesperson said on September 5, according to the AFP news agency.

AP quoted officials close to the negotiations as also saying that the U.S. envoy had returned to the city, where the Taliban have a political office.

Khalilzad told RFE/RL on September 2 that the two sides had reached a deal "in principle" to end America's longest war following nine rounds of negotiations in Qatar.

The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan said the agreement would become final when U.S. President Donald Trump agrees to it, paving the way for an "inter-Afghan dialogue."

Completion of the deal is also reportedly still contingent on assent among Taliban leaders.

The envoy has briefed the government in Kabul, with which the the militant group refuses to negotiate, on the terms of the draft agreement.

The Taliban have not relented on violence despite negotiating with the United States, killing a U.S. serviceman, a Romanian soldier and at least 10 other people in a bombing in Kabul on September 5.

It was the second major Taliban bombing in the city this week after a suicide attack late on September 2 killed at least 16 people.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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