Taliban: Fresh round of talks with US peace envoy opening

The Taliban say a fresh round of talks with U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is to begin in Qatar, where the religious movement maintains a political office.

Khalilzad has been tasked with finding a negotiated end to Afghanistan's 17-year war and America's longest military confrontation.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the Associated Press that Wednesday's talks will be the sixth round of direct meetings with the Khalilzad since his appointment last year. Talks are narrowly focused on a U.S. troop withdrawal and Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan will not be used to stage global terrorist attacks.

Khalilzad, who was in Pakistan on Tuesday, is touring the region to press Afghanistan as well as its neighbors to forge ahead toward finding a peaceful end to the fighting.