The answer is so important because the two sides had already agreed in principle on a framework for two crucial issues: the withdrawal of US troops, and a commitment that Afghan soil would not again be used to launch terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies.
The very fact that the US is talking to the Taliban legitimises their role in Afghanistan's present and future. All of this is worrying for India -- a Taliban government in Afghanistan in the near future will mean a hugely increased leverage for Pakistan in that country.
Senior Taliban leaders said that regional powers including Pakistan had approached them and wanted them to meet the US delegation in Islamabad and also include the Afghan government in the peace process but that the approaches had been rejected.
Both sides in Afghanistan's 17-year war have kept up attacks this winter, with the Taliban inflicting a heavy toll on government forces, and the US military and their government allies killing Taliban field commanders with air strikes.
Reports last month about US President Trump's plans to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan triggered uncertainty in Kabul, which depends on the United States and other foreign powers for military support and training.