The US and Taliban are set to begin peace talks with Afghan officials. It is hoped that the negotiations will eventually end the war in Afghanistan. The announcement was made by senior Obama administration officials on Tuesday morning.
The discussions are expected to begin before the end of the week in the Qatari capital Doha. As part of the negotiation, the Taliban will be required to sever relations with al Queda.
As reported by NBC News, the Taliban will be required to adopt the Afghan constitution, which specifically addresses the rights of women and minorities. The negotiations will also include a ban on violent attacks against Afghan security forces.
As reported by USA Today, officials in the US and Afghanistan have tried to initiate talks with the Taliban since 2010. Discussions, including officials from Afghanistan, the US, and Taliban, are be a big step in the right direction.
Speaking under the condition of anonymity, One of President Obama's senior administration officials discusses the upcoming meeting:
"These statements represent an important first step toward reconciliation, the process that after 30 years of armed conflict in Afghanistan will certainly promise to be complex, long and messy."
The discussions will certainly be intense for all three administrations. However, the agreement to meet indicates a mutual interest in resolving the conflict.
In addition to the peace talks, US officials plan to negotiate the release of Army Sergent Bowe Bergdahl. The Army Sergent was captured in 2009 by the Haqqani network, a branch of the Taliban. Bergdahl remains in captivity.
US combat involvement in Afghanistan is expected to end by December 2014. At that point local forces will take over Afghanistan's national security interests.
US officials caution that talks between the US and Taliban will not lead to an immediate resolution. However, they do hope the talks will begin an ongoing discussion to resolve the conflict.
[Image via Wikimedia]