Top US general meets Taliban in Qatar

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Doha

A senior US general met Taliban representatives this week in Qatar, urging them to reduce the level of violence and move more swiftly towards a political solution in Afghanistan, the US military reported. The meeting in Doha with the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, comes as negotiators representing the Afghan government and the Taliban take a break until Jan 5 when they will continue to work on an agenda. Milley also met Taliban officials in June but that meeting was not publicly announced, said a US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The two meetings are believed to be the first time a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has met the Taliban, although Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the top US military official in Afghanistan have met with them before.—Agencies