US President Donald Trump has had a telephone conversation with chief negotiator of the Taliban movement, Mullah Baradar Akhund, on Tuesday.
This marks the first known conversation between a US leader and a top Taliban official.
Taliban’s chief negotiator and the US president held a 35-minute telephone call on Tuesday, a Taliban spokesman said, with Trump later confirming the call to reporters in the White House.
The call came three days after Baradar and US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad signed an agreement in Qatar for a withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.
According to Al-Jazeera, Trump has said he held a “very good talk” with the Taliban leader in what may be the first direct discussion between a US leader and a senior official of the Afghan Deobandi fundamentalist group.
“I spoke to the leader of the Taliban today,” said Trump. “We had a good conversation. We have agreed there is no violence. We don’t want violence. We’ll see what happens. We actually had a very good talk with the leader of the Taliban.”
The war in Afghanistan has lasted for over 18 years, starting on 7 October 2001, making it the single longest conflict in US history.
Despite inflicting tens of thousands of casualties and spending billions in military expenditure, the US has been unable to subdue or defeat the Taliban and its allied groups.