US to begin new round of talks with Taliban this week, Khalilzad says


WASHINGTON -- The United States and the Taliban will open fresh negotiations later this week, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Saturday (June 22) as he expressed hope for progress in ending America's longest war.

The two sides will start their seventh round of talks this Saturday (June 29), he said.

"Based on my recent visits to Afghanistan and Qatar, I believe all sides want rapid progress," he tweeted.

The negotiations with the Taliban will take place as usual in Qatar, said the US State Department, announcing Khalilzad's travel before the date of the latest talks was set.

The Taliban have refused US appeals to end their violent campaign and have continued their insurgency.

The militant group has not yet negotiated with the internationally recognised government in Kabul, although Germany and Qatar are working to organise an intra-Afghan meeting, as confirmed by a United Nations official.

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