U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, on Monday met with the Taliban’s top political leader in Doha.
"Today, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar participated in a meeting and introduced his team with U.S. officials," Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, said in a statement.
Baradar highlighted the importance of negotiations, authority of the negotiation team and the future roadmap to end 18-year-long conflict in Afghanistan, Mujahid said.
Meanwhile, Khalilzad appreciated the role of Qatar and Pakistan in the ongoing peace process.
"Appreciate #Qatar for hosting & #Pakistan in facilitating travel. Now the work begins in earnest," Khalilzad said in a Twitter post and added he is meeting with a more authoritative Taliban delegation which could be a significant moment.
"Just finished a working lunch with Mullah Baradar and his team. First time we've met. Now moving on to talks," Khalilzad added.
The formal talks between U.S. and Taliban will begin on Tuesday, where Khalilzad will lead the U.S. team.
"Taliban team will be led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, while guidance will be sought from Mullah Baradar where necessary," Mujahid said.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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