Taliban hold talks with US envoy in Qatar

Taliban hold talks with US envoy in Qatar
FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2009 file photo, then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Zalmay Khalilzad, speaks to reporters at the United Nations headquarters. Taliban officials said Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 that Pakistan has released Abdul Samad Sani, a U.S.-designated terrorist who served as the Afghan Central Bank governor during the militants' rule, along with a lower-ranking commander named Salahuddin. It came as U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad launched a second tour of the region, with stops in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates as well as Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Taliban have held three days of talks with U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in the Gulf state of Qatar, where the Afghan insurgent group has a political office.

A Taliban official and another individual close to the group confirmed the talks, which are aimed at renewing the Afghan peace process and eventually winding down America’s longest war. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations.

They said Sunday that Khairullah Khairkhwa, the former Taliban governor of Herat, and Mohammed Fazl, a former Taliban military chief, attended the marathon talks. Both were former inmates at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay.

The Taliban control nearly half of Afghanistan and carry out near-daily attacks on local security forces and government officials.