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Friday Dec 13 2019
Web Desk

US-Afghan Taliban take 'brief pause' in negotiations

Web Desk
US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad talks with a Taliban delegation. Photo: AFP/File

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad announced on Friday that both parties are taking a “brief pause” from negotiations with the Afghan Taliban after the attack near the Bagram airbase.

The US diplomat tweeted: “When I met the Talibs today, I expressed outrage about yesterday’s (Wednesday) attack on Bagram, which recklessly killed two and wounded dozens of civilians.”

Khalilzad said that the Afghan Taliban should show that “they are willing and able to respond to Afghan desire for peace.” 

He said, “We’re taking a brief pause for them to consult their leadership on this essential topic.”

At least one person was killed and dozens wounded when a bomb exploded close to the largest US military base in Afghanistan on Wednesday, damaging homes and a hospital under construction near Bagram Airfield, officials had said.

The hospital was not in operation at the time, but Bagram district governor Abdul Shukoor Qudoosi said at least one woman had been killed and 60 civilians wounded when the blast damaged nearby homes.

The attack came days after Washington resumed talks with the Taliban in Qatar, three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted diplomatic efforts that could end America's longest war.