On Sunday fighting continued for the third consecutive day between the Taliban and Afghan security forces in the eastern city of Ghazni.
The US previously said it would sit on the sidelines of an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” peace process. The Trump administration changed tack, however, in recognition of the Taliban’s refusal to enter negotiations with the Afghan government without first discussing the removal of foreign troops in the US.
The first round of basic contacts “were very helpful”, a senior member of the Taliban’s Quetta Shura told the Guardian. They requested anonymity as only the movement’s spokesperson is authorised to speak in public.