US-Afghan Taliban talks enter sixth day, agreement likely to be sign today


DOHA: Talks between the US representatives and Afghan Taliban have entered sixth day on Saturday.
The US special representative Zalmay Khalilzad is leading the American team, while Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was recently appointed as the head of Taliban Qatar Office, is representing the Taliban side.
According to reports, the two sides could sign an agreement about US troops withdrawal and Taliban will denounce terrorism and will not allow Afghanistan to be used against any other country.
Mullah Baradar is known as a longtime, powerful lieutenant to the Taliban’s founding supreme leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar. According to New York Times, Mullah Baradar commands among the Taliban’s rank and file could help make a deal negotiated by him more acceptable, officials said.
Word that a noted Taliban leader would be helping lead the talks was a sign that after an estimated eight years of sporadic negotiations, this round could actually show results. With a war now lasting more than 17 years — America’s longest — the major stakeholders have signaled they are ready for a compromise. The Taliban want the American military to pull out, and the United States is looking for security assurances.
Mullah Baradar’s appointment could also avoid some of the embarrassment of previous efforts at negotiations, like when a shopkeeper posed as the insurgency’s second-in-command, or when a delegation claimed to represent a Taliban leader who had been dead for years.


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