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Taliban official says group held direct talks with US official

A senior Taliban official says the insurgent group has held the first direct talks with the US diplomat Alice Wells in a preliminary discussion about future plans for peace negotiations in Afghanistan.

world Updated: Jul 28, 2018 13:35 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Islamabad
Taliban,Taliban peace talks,Taliban talks with US
File photo of Alice Wells, the US's top diplomat for South Asia.(AP Photo)

A senior Taliban official says the insurgent group has held the first direct talks with a US official in a preliminary discussion about future plans for a negotiated peace in Afghanistan.

This week’s meeting with Alice Wells, the US’s top diplomat for South Asia, was an attempt to jump-start talks on ending Washington’s longest military engagement, a senior Taliban official told The Associated Press early Saturday.

US officials neither confirmed nor denied a meeting took place.

The Taliban have long demanded direct talks with Washington.

“The discussion was preliminary, initial and both discussed a future meeting and contacts,” said the official on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

It wasn’t clear when the next meeting would be held or with whom, but he was certain one would be held.

First Published: Jul 28, 2018 13:35 IST