Taliban peace talks

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Afghan Government's Move May Wreck US-Taliban Deal

It's postponing the release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners

(Newser) - The Afghan government Saturday postponed the release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners, an Afghan official said, a decision that could sabotage a peace deal signed last month between the Taliban and the US. Jawed Faisal, spokesman for the Afghan National Security Adviser's office, said the releases were being delayed... More »

1.5K Taliban Prisoners Are About to Go Free

Afghan president making release as goodwill gesture to spur negotiations

(Newser) - After a series of delays, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree early Wednesday promising to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture to get intra-Afghan negotiations started. A recent peace deal signed between the United States and the Taliban called for the release of up to 5,... More »

Taliban Agrees to Cease-Fire

Brief pause could allow for a peace deal to be signed

(Newser) - The Taliban said Sunday they have agreed to a temporary cease-fire nationwide. It provides a window during which a peace agreement with the US could be signed, the AP reports. A peace deal would allow the US to bring home its troops from Afghanistan and end its 18-year military engagement... More »

Trump's Taliban News Seems to Startle the Taliban

'We are ready to talk,' the Sunni group says

(Newser) - President Trump's visit to Afghanistan on Thanksgiving turned out to be a surprise in more ways than one, the Washington Post reports. In big news, he told US troops that Taliban talks are on again—but the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani seemed just as surprised when they... More »

Pompeo Addresses Controversy Over Taliban, Camp David

Democrats, Republicans rip Trump's invitation

(Newser) - Mike Pompeo says he supported President Trump's invitation to Taliban leaders to attend peace talks at Camp David. "If you’re going to negotiate peace, you often have to deal with some pretty bad actors," the secretary of state said on ABC's This Week, per the... More »

Trump: Secret Taliban Meeting at Camp David Is Off

President tweets that he canceled peace talks after attack that killed US soldier

(Newser) - President Trump said he canceled a secret weekend meeting at Camp David with Taliban and Afghanistan leaders after a bombing in Kabul killed 12 people, including an American soldier, and has called off peace negotiations with the insurgent group. "Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately,... More »

Top US Envoy Says Peace Deal With Taliban Agreed

He says troop pullout deal still needs Trump's approval

(Newser) - After almost 18 years of war, a peace deal between the US and the Taliban has been agreed to "in principle," according to Zalmay Khalilzad, the chief American negotiator. Khalilzad said Monday that as part of the deal, some 5,400 American troops out of around 14,000... More »

Official: ISIS Is 'Most Near-Term' Threat to US From Afghanistan

Kabul attacks seen as 'practice runs'

(Newser) - ISIS has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan, the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters, and plotting attacks on the United States and other Western countries, according to US and Afghan security officials. Nearly two decades after the US-led... More »

100 Feared Dead in Taliban Attack on Military Base

Group says peace talks with US are ongoing

(Newser) - A Taliban assault on a military base and police training center in a province just outside the Afghan capital on Monday killed at least 45 people, most of them military personnel, Afghan officials say. There are fears, however, that the death toll is even higher. Some government officials estimate the... More »

Karzai Skirted West to Secretly Deal With Taliban

But officials say no peace deal with Taliban is forthcoming

(Newser) - The latest strain on the tenuous US-Afghanistan relationship: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been secretly negotiating with the Taliban. With no Western involvement, Karzai has been trying to hash out a peace agreement, which, officials say, explains a lot of his recent inexplicable and vexing actions (see: refusing to sign... More »

US Strike on Taliban Leader Kills Peace Efforts: Pakistan

Militants said to have picked new chief

(Newser) - Seeking peace, Pakistani officials were due to meet with Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud today—a day after the US reportedly killed him in a drone attack . Now, Pakistani officials are expressing outrage over the strike, and they've summoned the US ambassador to make their views known, the BBC... More »

US Drones Kill Taliban Chief: Officials

Hakimullah Mehsud goes down in strike a day after peace talks begin

(Newser) - A US drone has taken out Hakimullah Mehsud , the head of the Pakistani Taliban, along with four other suspected militants, US and Pakistani officials tell the AP . Mehsud has been near the top of the CIA's most wanted list thanks to his alleged role in a December 2009 suicide... More »

'Frustrated' Obama May Yank All Troops in Afghanistan

Relations with Karzai going downhill fast, insiders say

(Newser) - President Obama is so sick of dealing with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai that he is seriously considering bringing American military involvement in the country to a speedy and complete end, senior administration officials tell CNN and the New York Times . The "zero option" of leaving no American troops... More »

Taliban Kills Americans Hours After Peace Office Opens

Karzai pulls out of security talks

(Newser) - Taliban insurgents aren't letting up the fight in Afghanistan despite the opening of an office for peace talks . Four American troops were killed in a rocket attack on a convoy near Bagram Air Base just hours after the Taliban office opened its doors in Qatar, the New York Times... More »

US, Taliban to Talk Peace in Group's New Qatar Office

Taliban holds a press conference to announce office's opening

(Newser) - The Taliban has opened its long-promised office in Doha, Qatar, where it will openly hold direct peace talks with the US, Taliban officials announced today at, of all things, a press conference. Top US officials tell the BBC that peace talks will begin within days, on the condition that the... More »

US Gives Up on Taliban Peace Deal

And sees fresh danger from al-Qaeda in North Africa

(Newser) - The US has essentially given up hope of negotiating a peace settlement with the Taliban, once a key piece of its strategy for ending the Afghan war, generals and civilian officials tell the New York Times . Their new, more modest goal is to lay the groundwork for the Afghans to... More »

Academics: Taliban Ready to Accept Deal

But Taliban spokesman scoffs at think-tank report

(Newser) - The Taliban is ready to accept a peace deal that would allow a US military presence in Afghanistan until 2024, according to a group of academics who interviewed senior Taliban figures. The professors say that leading Taliban members have concluded that the "war is not winnable," and they'... More »

Taliban Boss: We Can't Win

Calls al-Qaeda 'plague', bin Laden death 'relief'

(Newser) - A top Taliban commander says his group "cannot prevail" in Afghanistan, and leaders know it. "Any Taliban leader expecting to be able to capture Kabul is making a grave mistake," the unnamed leader, a former Guantanamo detainee, tells the New Statesman in an interview previewed by the... More »

New Plan to Restart Taliban Talks: Move Gitmo Prisoners

Hamid Karzai pushing for all 17 Afghans at Guantanamo to be transferred

(Newser) - Up to 17 Taliban militants who were captured in the early days of the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and have been detained at Guantanamo for years could be moved to a prison in Afghanistan in an effort to get peace talks with the Taliban moving again, reports the AP . The... More »

Taliban Moderate: Most of Us Want Peace

Agha Jan Motasim shot for preaching unity government

(Newser) - Most Taliban fighters want peace, with only "a few" hardliners holding out against it, a member of the Quetta Shura leadership council tells the AP —and he's got the bullet wounds to prove his sincerity. "The majority of the Taliban and the Taliban leadership want a... More »

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