Qatar’s Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar and his delegation also participated in the meeting.
The US peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, and the commander of foreign troops in Afghanistan, US Gen. Scott Miller, met with the Taliban’s deputy leader Mullah Baradar in Doha on Sunday, said Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for Taliban.
“Both sides talked about (the) speedy release of the prisoners and commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations,” said Shaheen in a tweet.
“Dr. Mutlaq Al-Qahtani, Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar and his delegation also participated in the meeting,” he added.
However, Shaheen did not provide further details of the meeting.
Khalilzad met Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa in Islamabad on Sunday and discussed the Afghan peace process among other topics, according to Pakistani news agencies.
During the meeting, Pakistan and the US agreed to continue working towards “mutually agreed goals” defined in the landmark peace deal between the US and Taliban in Doha in February.
A pledge to continue working together to bring peace to Afghanistan was made by Khalilzad and Gen. Bajwa during a meeting, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations.
“The matters of mutual interest, overall regional security situation, including Afghan refugees issue, Afghan reconciliation process and Pakistan-Afghanistan border management were discussed during the meeting between Gen Bajwa and Dr Khalilzad. Both shared steps taken in this regard and agreed to continue working towards mutually agreed goals,” the ISPR said.
Sources close to the Taliban said that based on initial agreements between the engaged sides, the intra-Afghan negotiations will be held in Doha, a development that critics say will move the peace process forward if the talks happen.
The sources did not mention the time of the negotiations but said there is an agreement to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners from the Afghan government’s custody ahead of the talks.
The Afghan government has said that, to date, 2,710 Taliban prisoners have been released. The Taliban, on the other hand, has released 458 prisoners who the group claims are government forces members, according to information shared by the group.
The Afghan government, meanwhile, has said that it is prepared to send its delegation to the intra-Afghan negotiations, something that Khalilzad, who started his new trip on June 5, will stress on his trip.
Khalilzad will also travel to Afghanistan, according to the US Department of State.