U.S. Officials Meet with Taliban Again as Trump Pushes Afghan Peace Process by Mujib Mashal – New York Times
Seeking to inject new energy into the long-stalled Afghan peace process, the top American diplomat charged with helping find a way to end the war has met with Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar, officials and a Taliban source said on Saturday.
The Friday meeting between the American diplomat, Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Taliban was the second time that senior American officials have met with Taliban representatives in Qatar since the White House ordered direct talks this summer in the hopes of jump-starting the peace process. On Saturday, Mr. Khalilzad flew to Kabul to meet with the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani.
The Taliban have long demanded that they meet with Americans directly instead of the Afghan government, which has made Afghan leaders wary of being sidelined in the process. Western diplomats have described the Americans’ direct contact with the Taliban as “talks before talks” that could then grow into negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government…