US envoy says US-Taliban talks in Qatar to resume Saturday

February 28, 2019
1 of 3
In this Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 photo released by Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Special Envoy of the Qatar Foreign Minister for Counterterrorism and Mediation in conflicts resolution, Dr. Mutlaq Bin Majid Al-Qahtanithe, is the mediator of talks between the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Deputy Commander of the Taliban Movement for Political Affairs, Mulla Abdul Ghani Berader, right, in an undisclosed place in Doha, Qatar. U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met with one of the founders of the Taliban for the first time on Monday ahead of the latest round of talks with the insurgents aimed at ending the 17-year war in Afghanistan. (Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The U.S. envoy leading the talks with the Taliban says the negotiations have been put on hold until this weekend.

Zalmay Khalilzad wrote on Twitter on Thursday that “both sides will take the next two days for internal deliberations, with plans to regroup on Saturday.”

Khalilzad described the last three days of talks as “solid” and “productive.”

He added: “We continue to take slow, steady steps toward understanding and eventually #peace.”

Khalilzad has been trying to negotiate a resolution of the 17-year war in Afghanistan, America’s longest.

The Taliban, who harbored al-Qaida and its leader Osama bin Laden, ruled Afghanistan before the 2001 U.S.-led invasion after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Taliban have made a major comeback in recent years. Today, they carry out near-daily attacks on Afghan security forces.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.