KABUL (Reuters) - Taliban negotiators will meet their US counterparts on February 18 in Islamabad as part of accelerating international relations to end more than 17 years of struggle in Afghanistan, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Wednesday.

The talks come every week ahead of previously scheduled negotiations between the 2 sides in Qatar on Feb 25. Mujahid stated in a statement that the Qatar talks would nonetheless take place as scheduled.

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Mujahid stated his facet might additionally meet Pakistan s top Minister Imran Khan to maintain "comprehensive discussions approximately Pakistan-Afghanistan members of the family".

while he stated the Taliban delegation might meet america team, he did no longer specify any meetings with group head, US unique peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.

Khalilzad is due in Pakistan in advance of the Qatar talks as a part of a six-u . S . A . Swing thru Europe and the middle East as he tries to construct aid for efforts to give up the united states s longest warfare.

both the Taliban and the us hailed development after the quit of the ultimate spherical of negotiations in Qatar last month but Western diplomats familiar with discussions say that many hard hurdles lie in advance.

the usa facet is expected to push tough for a ceasefire between Taliban militants and foreign-backed Afghan forces earlier than any settlement on the withdrawal folks-led foreign troops.

Taliban officials say they want all foreign troops out before a ceasefire, however would still welcome non-military overseas assist to re-build the us of a.

Washington is likewise looking for extra details on clean assurances from the Taliban that it'd no longer permit Afghanistan to be used by organizations together with al-Qaeda and Islamic country to attack the usa and its allies, Western diplomats stated.

it is also pushing hard for the Taliban to talk to the Afghan government, which it has up to now shut out of talks, branding it as a puppet of Washington.

US President Donald Trump used his country of the Union deal with ultimate week to say progress in negotiations with the Taliban could permit a reduction within the approximately 14,000 U.S. Troops currently in Afghanistan and a renewed "recognition on counter terrorism."