‘Secret ceasefire talks’ underway between Afghan government and Taliban – US general

Senior Taliban officials have been secretly negotiating with Afghan officials on a possible ceasefire, according to the Pentagon. “A lot of the diplomatic activity and dialogue is occurring off the stage, and it’s occurring at multiple levels,” General John Nicholson said Wednesday in a teleconference with reporters at the Pentagon. He would not identify the figures involved in the negotiations, except to say that they included mid- and senior-level Taliban officials, AFP said. “I should point out they met in secret. This is how they were able to advance the talks,” he said, citing the need for the “confidentiality of the process.” Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in late February proposed peace talks with the Taliban, saying they could be recognized as a political party if they accepted a ceasefire and recognized the country’s 2004 constitution.