The U.S. is reportedly preparing to open peace talks with the Taliban.

The "Washington Post" says formal negotiations are set to begin Thursday in Doha the capital of Qatar. The paper cites senior Obama administration officials as calling it an important first step in a long process.

The development comes on the same day Afghan security forces took the lead from NATO for protecting Afghanistan.

The White House has not made an official announcement yet about U.S. involvement in the peace talks. (MetroSource News)