Taliban reject direct talks with Afghan government

“Intra-Afghan talks will start only after a foreign force withdrawal is announced,” said Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar.

On Saturday, Afghanistan’s state minister for peace affairs Abdul Salam Rahimi said the government would be represented by a 15-member delegation during direct talks with the Taliban in the coming two weeks.

The Taliban have been holding peace talks with the United States for nearly a year but have refused to meet with the government, which it views as a puppet regime.

US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is currently visiting Kabul, tweeted that another round of “intra-Afghan” talks will occur “after we conclude our own agreements.”

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