U.S. and Taliban Resume Peace Talks in Doha

U.S. Marines with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. step off in the early morning during an operation to push out Taliban fighters on July 18, 2009 in Herati, Afghanistan . (Credit; Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S. Marines with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. step off in the early morning during an operation to push out Taliban fighters on July 18, 2009 in Herati, Afghanistan . (Credit; Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The United States and the Taliban have resumed peace talks in the Qatari capital of Doha, a Taliban spokesman tweeted on Saturday.

“On Saturday talks between the Taliban and US started from where they stopped,” Suhail Shaheen said, adding that Anas Haqqani, a former Taliban prisoner who was released in a swap last month, participated in Saturday’s talks as a negotiation member.

The announcement comes more than a week after President Donald Trump made a surprise Thanksgiving visit to US troops in Afghanistan and said talks had restarted. He told troops at the time that “the Taliban wants to make a deal. We’ll see if they want to make a deal. It’s got to be a real deal, but we’ll see. But they want to make a deal.”

During the trip Trump also held a bilateral meeting with the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani.

Following that meeting, Ghani tweeted that “both sides underscored that if the Taliban are sincere in their commitment to reaching a peace deal, they must accept a ceasefire. We also emphasized that for any peace to last, terrorist safe havens outside Afghanistan must be dismantled.”

CNN has reached out to the State Department for reaction.

In September, Trump announced an end to formal talks after a Taliban-claimed attack in Kabul killed a dozen people, including an American soldier. Trump said at the time that Taliban leaders were to travel to the US for secret peace talks, but after the attack he called off the meetings and canceled the negotiations.

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