Alice Wells, the top us diplomat for South Asia, meets with Syrian refugees at the International Airport of Amman, Jordan, April 6, 2016.
This week's Qatar talks marked the first significant step toward starting an Afghan peace and reconciliation process since a single round of talks was held between Afghan and Taliban officials in Pakistan in 2015, with us and China also in attendance as observers.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Voice of America (VOA) reported that Alice Wells, the top USA diplomat for South Asia, led the United States team in these talks.
The Taliban spokesman who furnished the information on the condition of anonymity stated that the discussion ended up being useful and the atmosphere was very positive.
Pointing towards the talks between the United States and Taliban in Qatar, Abdullah said such contacts were being made in the past as well and have positive impact on the ongoing efforts for reconciliation.
It is not clear when the next meeting would be held, but they were certain there would be one.
A previous attempt at direct talks between Washington and the Taleban in 2013 also in Doha, was scuttled when then-Afghan President Hamid Karzai objected to the Taleban calling its office the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the name of its government, and flying the flag the movement flew when they ruled Afghanistan. The department has confirmed that Wells was in Doha, but did not say whether she held a face-to-face meeting with Taliban representatives.
The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 in the wake of the 11 September attacks, ousting the Taliban from power and setting the stage for what has turned into a 17-year conflict.
The retreat to the cities is a searing acknowledgment that the USA -installed government in Afghanistan remains unable to lead and protect the country's sprawling rural population.
In Kabul on Saturday, Shah Hussain Murtazawi, deputy spokesman for Ghani, repeated the government's oft-stated position that peace talks should be 'Afghan owned and Afghan led, any assistance the allies provide [would be in] a supportive role'.
The current leadership, most of whom are Mullah Omar's contemporaries, still believe their future in Afghanistan can be guaranteed only if the US's concerns are addressed.
There was also a suggestion at the time that the talks would include the freedom of five Taliban held in the US prison at Guantanamo Bay and the release of captured USA soldier Bowe Bergdahl. The New York Times reports the Trump administration is urging US -backed Afghan troops to retreat from rural areas and focus on protecting Kabul and other major cities.
Similar efforts to hold peace talks between the Americans and the Taliban in Doha in 2015 faltered after the Afghan government denounced the process.