Taliban begins diplomatic outreach following peace deal with US 

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Mar 01, 2020, 11.29 AM(IST)

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar shake hands after signing a peace agreement during a ceremony in the Qatari capital Doha . Photograph:( AFP )

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The peace deal between the Taliban and the United States was signed at Qatari capital Doha by US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on hand to witness the ceremony.

Hours after signing a peace deal with Washington aimed at ending the Afghan war, Taliban's political chief has met with senior diplomats from countries including Russia, Indonesia and Norway, the hardline Islamist group said in a statement on Sunday.

The peace deal between the Taliban and the United States was signed at Qatari capital Doha by US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on hand to witness the ceremony.

Soon after the agreement, US President Donald Trump hailed the peace deal and said that he would be soon meeting the Taliban leaders. 

Baradar met foreign ministers from Turkey, Uzbekistan and Norway in Doha along with diplomats from Russia, Indonesia and neighbouring nations, the Taliban said, a move that signalled the group's determination to secure international legitimacy.

"The dignitaries who met Mullah Baradar expressed their commitments towards Afghanistan's reconstruction and development... the U.S.-Taliban agreement is historical," said Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid.

"Baradar received congratulatory messages and thanked them (ministers and diplomats) for attending the ceremony," he said.

"The fanfare around the signing ceremony proved that many countries are willing to start fresh talks with Taliban leadership... they are also working fast to secure the validation too," Reuters quoted a senior US diplomat, who was present at the signing ceremony in Doha, as saying.

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