By Helene Fung
US President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to US troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday local time), and told reporters that “the Taliban wants to make a deal and we are meeting with them”.
This came a week after an agreement has been reached for a prisoner swap, and raised hopes for a peaceful end to the 18-year-long war.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid admitted to meeting senior US officials in Doha since last weekend. He said that they were “ready to restart the talks” which were called off by Mr Trump in September, added that the peace talks are to resume from where they left off.
A draft accord agreed in September entailed the US withdrawing thousands of troops withdrawn in exchange for guarantees that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for militant attacks on the United States or its allies.
Mr Trump called off peace talks soon after Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack in Kabul that killed 12 people, including an American soldier.