WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is seeking to revive negotiations with the Afghan Taliban in Doha aimed at a ceasefire deal, hoping to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan after President Donald Trump abruptly halted negotiations three months ago.
On Wednesday, US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad met with Afghan President Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul, to follow the developments of President Trump's recent visit to Afghanistan.
According to a statement issued by the State Department that Khalilzad will discuss with government officials ways to support efforts to involve all parties in the negotiations between the Afghan parties, noting that this visit aims to "accelerate" efforts to hold negotiations between the Afghan parties.
The statement said that the US envoy will travel to the Qatari capital Doha - on an unspecified date - to resume talks with the Taliban.
|A copy of a previous round of negotiations in Doha (Al Jazeera)|
The goal of the talks
The statement said that the aim of these talks "to discuss steps that would lead to internal Afghan talks, and a peaceful settlement of the war, and the reduction of violence leads to a cease-fire."
Trump was the latest surprise on September 7 when he broke off unprecedented direct talks with Zalmay Khalilzad with the Taliban for a year and was close to a deal.
Trump then canceled a secret invitation to Taliban leaders to come to meet him at Camp David, because of the killing of a US soldier in an attack in Kabul.
In a prelude to restoring confidence, Khalilzad on Tuesday praised the Taliban's actions against ISIS in Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan, and wrote that thanks to their movement and Westerners and Afghan forces, "ISIS has lost territory and militants."
According to a survey of the Asia Research Foundation published this week in the United States, 88.7% of the 17,812 Afghans questioned support peace efforts with the Taliban, and 64% of them felt that peace is ten points higher than it was a year ago.