The U.S. is set to restart formal peace negotiations with the Taliban on Thursday after three years of failed attempts.
After more than a decade of war in Afghanistan, and nearly three years of sputtering and unsuccessful attempts at talks, the United States will open formal negotiations with the Taliban this week aimed at ending insurgent attacks, officials said Tuesday.
The new dialogue, with a Taliban delegation that U.S. officials said has been authorized by Taliban leader Mohammed Omar, will begin Thursday in Doha, the Qatari capital. The United States will be represented by senior State Department and White House officials.
It is interesting that the talks are beginning now, a year and a half after U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of 2014, following three years of impasse. Restarting the negotiations is only the first step, and it still remains unclear whether they will be able to form an agreement before the U.S. withdraws, and whether the agreement will hold after that withdrawal.