State media says two days of meetings aimed at reconciliation produced ‘tangible results’
The United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday that reconciliation talks it hosted between the United States and Taliban officials from Afghanistan produced tangible and positive results.
The two days of meetings aimed at ending Afghanistan’s 17-year conflict were held in Abu Dhabi, with the attendance of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
The “U.S.-Taliban reconciliation talks” produced “tangible results that are positive for all parties concerned,” state-run WAM news agency said. A new round of talks would be held in Abu Dhabi “to complete the Afghanistan reconciliation process,” WAM said without providing further details.
The meetings are the latest in a flurry of diplomatic efforts as Washington seeks a way out of the Afghan conflict, which began with the U.S. invasion in 2001.
U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said he had “productive” meetings in the U.A.E. with Afghan and international partners “to promote intra-Afghan dialogue towards ending the conflict.” Khalilzad tweeted that he met with Pakistani officials on Wednesday to brief them, before plans to travel onwards to meet Afghan leaders in Kabul.
An Afghan negotiating team traveled to Abu Dhabi for “proximity dialogue” with the Taliban in preparation for face-to-face meetings, presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said Tuesday.
The Taliban has not confirmed meeting Afghan officials, saying on Tuesday they had held “preliminary talks” with the U.S. envoy. They also said they had held “extensive” meetings with officials from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., repeating demands for international forces to be withdrawn from Afghanistan. Those three countries were the only ones to recognize the Taliban government during its five-year rule from 1996.