Monday, 7 January 2019 19:32 WIB |
The Taliban has said that its engagement with the United States for negotiating an end to "the war and illegitimate occupation" of Afghanistan remains on track, ruling out once again any direct peace talks with the government in Kabul
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told VOA a new round of discussions with the U.S. is in the cards but dates and a venue have not yet been determined.
He was responding to and rejected as "false claims" reports that insurgent negotiators were planning to hold direct talks with Afghan officials in Saudi Arabia later this month.
U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, held two days of marathon talks in mid December with a high-powered Taliban delegation in Abu Dhabi, where envoys of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the host country also were in attendance.
The Pakistani government took credit for arranging the meeting in the United Arab Emirates following Khalilzad's preliminary interactions with Taliban representatives based in Qatar.
He asserted that if talks fail to achieve the desired results and the war continues with the Taliban "the Americans would have no option but to be driven out of Afghanistan."
Source : VOA