US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad met with the Taliban in Doha, said Taliban on Saturday, as efforts intensify to revive a peace process marred by upsurge in violence and a possible troop withdrawal deadline.
Khalilzad held talks earlier this week with Afghan leaders in Kabul, including President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, chair of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation which oversees the government’s talks with the Taliban in Qatar.
Taliban spokesman Muhamad Naeem tweeted that Khalilzad and the top US general in Afghanistan met with their negotiating team in Doha, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, late on Friday.
“Both sides expressed their commitment to the Doha Agreement and discussed its full implementation. Likewise, the current situation of Afghanistan and the rapidity and effectiveness of the Intra-Afghan negotiations were discussed,” he wrote.
Implementation on Doha Agreement is in doubt as the new Biden administration is reviewing the deal secured by Khalilzad with the Taliban in Doha last year.
According to the agreement, the US is set to withdraw from Afghanistan in May, but a surge in violence in Afghanistan has sparked concerns that a hurried exit may plunge the country into greater chaos as peace talks between the Kabul government and Taliban continue to stall.
The accord states that the US will withdraw all troops from Afghanistan, with the Taliban promising not to allow territory to be used by terrorists, including al Qaeda.
This is Khalilzad’s first visit to Qatar since US President Joe Biden took office in January and asked him to stay on in his post.