Another Round of Taliban-US Talks is to happen during the World Cup in Qatar


According to intelligence information, high-ranking officials of the Taliban are planning to meet with US National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan, CIA Deputy Director Cohen and a number of high-ranking delegations in Qatar. It is said that the meeting will be held at the end of November, since the 2022 World Cup will continue from November 20 to December 18, and at the end of November, Taliban and American officials will travel to Qatar to watch the Cup, however the main purpose is a open secret meeting in the Doha.

Ostensibly, using the World Cup, as a pretext to engage in high-level talks would raise concerns within the Taliban lower-ranks, since sport is not a beloved and popular activity amongst the radical Taliban, which will lead to more splintering.  Meantime the re-engagement of US-Taliban may not be welcomed by Al-Qaeda the solemn allies of Taliban, of which leader Sheikh Al-Zawahri was killed by CIA drones.   

Furthermore, there are risks involved towards the World Cup in the Arabian Peninsula, because the geo-politics of the Middle East is changing rapidly, new military and geopolitical blocks and allies are emerging that may lead to awkwardness of the situation in the entire Arab world.  Parenthetically, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Economic Deputy of the Taliban Prime Minister and an important member of the Quetta Council, will also participate in this meeting and some distinctive issues will be discussed.

The main topics of the discussion have yet to be known, but it is said, there will be parleys about the restrictions on the Taliban, the removal of the names of a number of Taliban leaders from the international blacklist so that they can gain international legitimacy. The transfer of the American embassy to Afghanistan, showing the military presence of American forces in Afghanistan under the guise of guarding the embassy, ​​and a number of sub-topics such as the establishment of an inclusive government, girls’ schools.

In addition to this, there will be a discussion on the elimination of internal differences between the Taliban, on poppies cultivation and stationing of the international terrorist groups in Afghanistan.  The US National Security Adviser is trying to coordinate with the White House to find new patrons for the Taliban instead of the Gulf countries, because the American political administration under the leadership of Biden wants to distance itself from the Gulf countries especially the OPEC Nations.

 On the other hand, the CIA is trying to keep engaging the American military and intelligence agency in the Middle East and South Asia. Nevertheless, the non-alignment between the CIA and the White House could open Pandora’s Box as President Biden wants to prove himself a pacifist in the 2024 presidential election. Conversely, the Ministry of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency do not want to lose control state of affairs as of the war in Ukraine, while as a result of President Biden’s recent actions including White House’s harsh position on Saudi-UAE military engagement in Yemen and re-negotiation of Iran Nuclear Deal. America has lost the trust of some of allies in the Middle East.

The Biden’s critics of Saudi Arabia bordered on the end of Petrodollar era, which the US enjoyed right after the end of the World War 2  till today; the Petrodollar deal was cut between the US and energy producing Nations. The bottom-line was the US has been to provide security and defend the said nations in return the oil rich countries have been to sell their energy with dollar.

Bin Salman’s agreements with BRICS to de-dollarize energy market and joining the Chinse Belt and Road Initiative exacerbated the clumsy position of the US at the international level.  Hence, Taliban is a significant link to curb Russia and contain China.

Ajmal Sohail
Ajmal Sohail
Ajmal Sohail is a graduate in terrorism and extremism studies from both Leiden University in the Netherlands and Maryland University in the United States; he works in the meantime as an intelligence analyst and Counter-terrorism expert. He does remain well connected with the political players in his country, both those physically in Afghanistan and those working from outside, allowing him to gain insights into the extremely complex geopolitical situation in Afghanistan and in the South Asia region. He is the co-founder and co-president of the Counter Narco-Terrorism Alliance Germany, directing its intelligence and counter-terrorism portfolios. His analysis is regularly featured in various international news outlets, print and television and he even runs his own sources to get the most classified Intel. His analysis and other content can be accessed at his personal website:


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