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article imageTrump claims that peace talks with the Taliban are on again

By Ken Hanly     Nov 25, 2019 in Politics
After successful negotiations all the way to an agreement in principle with the Taliban, Trump called off negotiations after a Taliban attack during negotiations killed several including one US service person.
A BBC article of Sept. 9 noted: ""As far as I'm concerned, they are dead," he told White House reporters on Monday. Over the weekend Mr Trump cancelled secret plans to host a Taliban delegation in the US after the militant group admitted killing a US soldier."
Trump says talks are on again
Trump has offered no details but claims the US is "working on an agreement now" Reports are that unofficial negotiations are ongoing in Doha, This time around US officials are consulting with the Afghan government during negotiations. The Taliban refuse any direct negotiations with the Afghan government as they consider it a puppet of the US. The Afghan government appeared to have little input into the prior negotiations although it was thought a power-sharing arrangement would be negotiated afterwards.
The prisoner swap
Two teachers at the American University of Afghanistan were swapped for three Haqqani Network leaders. This may have helped restart negotiations.
The Guardian recently reported: "The Taliban have released an American and an Australian held hostage since 2016 in exchange for three prominent members of the militant group who were set free by the Afghan government and flown to Qatar the previous day. Australian Timothy Weeks, 50, and Kevin King, 63, an American, were handed over to US forces in southern Zabul province and transported from the area by helicopter, putting an end to more than three years in captivity."
Peace Council wants a ceasefire agreement first
Afghanistan's High Peace Council has been urging the US to work out a ceasefire first. The Council believes that this would be a big step forward in the peace process. Both the Taliban and the US kept on fighting but the former peace process went forward successfully. However, each side tried to use attacks as leverage and Trump just walked away when one US soldier was killed. However, the two sides can copy a lot of what was agreed to before into any new agreement.
More about Taliban, US Taliban peace talks, Afghan war
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