Taliban bring top leader into talks with US

Published On: January 25, 2019 12:16 PM NPT By: Associated Press

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN-- A co-founder of the Taliban who was released from prison in Pakistan in October has been appointed head of the group’s political office in Qatar as it holds negotiations with the United States over ending the 17-year-old Afghan war.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said Friday that Abdul Ghani Baradar was brought into the process to “strengthen and properly handle the ongoing negotiations process with the United States.” Baradar coordinated military operations in southern Afghanistan before his arrest in 2010 in Pakistan.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has held several rounds of talks with the Taliban in recent months. The insurgents control nearly half of Afghanistan and carry out frequent attacks on Afghan forces. Khalilzad has been in Qatar since Monday.

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