October 4, 2019 / 6:58 AM / 15 days ago

Taliban met with U.S. envoy during visit to Islamabad - sources

ISLAMABAD, Oct 4 (Reuters) - A Taliban delegation met with U.S. special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad on Thursday, two sources told Reuters.

It was the first known meeting since U.S. President Donald Trump halted peace negotiations last month.

“The Taliban officials held a meeting with Zalmay Khalilzad...all I can tell you is that Pakistan played a big role in it to convince them how important it was for the peace process,” said, one of the sources, a senior Pakistani government official. He declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak publicly about the matter.

A second source confirmed the meeting took place.

Both sources said the meeting lasted for over an hour and did not involve formal negotiations, but was instead a meeting intended to build confidence between the two sides.

Reporting by Asif Shahzad in Islamabad and Jonathan Landay in Washington; writing by Charlotte Greenfield and Rod Nickel; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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