Taliban Won’t Meet Afghan Officials, Talks With US On Hold

The Afghan Taliban have denied media reports that they would hold talks with the US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation in Islamabad and reiterated their refusal to meet officials of the Afghan government.

“We want to clarify that we will not hold any meeting with Zalmay Khalilzad (the US representative) in Islamabad,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a brief statement.

Following Khalilzad’s meeting with Pakistani officials, the local media reported on Friday that militants have agreed to meet Khalilzad-led US officials in Islamabad and that they would send their 12-member delegation to Pakistan.

According to senior Taliban leaders, Islamabad had indeed asked them to meet Khalilzad and also include Afghan government officials in talks in Islamabad. “We have rejected Pakistan’s approach and suggestion. We are clear that Kabul’s puppet regime is not in position to fulfill our demands,” said a senior Taliban representative, requesting anonymity. Read more

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