Taliban, US envoy hold peace talks

Leaders of the Taliban in Afghanistan say they have held talks with a high-ranking US official.

The Taliban announced on Saturday that its leaders met with the newly-appointed US special envoy for peace efforts in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, in the Qatari capital of Doha. Leaders said they discussed an end to the war in Afghanistan and the pulling out of US troops from the country.

The country has a parliamentary election scheduled for October 20th following a 3-year postponement due to worsening security conditions.

The leaders and the US envoy are believed to have discussed a temporary ceasefire for the election.

The Taliban made back-channel contact with another high-ranking US official in July. But this is the first time since President Donald Trump took office that the organization has officially acknowledged such talks.

The Taliban strongly opposes what it calls the US-led elections, and is directing Afghans to boycott the vote. There is concern about possible attacks targeting polling stations.

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