Taliban Co-Founder Mullah Baradar Heads to Qatar for U.S. Peace Talks

One of the Afghan Taliban's co-founders—Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar—has reportedly arrived in Qatar for peace talks with the United States. Last month, American and Taliban officials agreed in principle to a peace deal which could pave the way to ending the two-decade war. The presence of Mullah Baradar, who spent eight years in a Pakistani jail until his release last year, is likely to speed up the process as he has the authority to make decisions on behalf of the group. He was put in charge of the Taliban political office in Qatar in January and has previously held a number of senior roles within the Taliban, the BBC reports. The draft agreement between the two countries reportedly set out the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country in return for assurances that al-Qaeda and Islamic State would never be allowed to use Afghanistan as a base. The U.S. has been trying to broker a peace deal with the Taliban for nine years.