KABUL: The Taliban said on Sunday they will not hold direct talks with Afghan government and rejected a statement from a senior minister about plans to hold the such as meeting within the next two weeks, a senior Taliban official said.
“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.
Abdul Salam Rahimi, Afghanistan’s state minister for peace affairs, said Sunday that a 15-member government delegation will meet with the Taliban in Europe, without elaborating.
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.” He said it would include the Taliban and “an inclusive and effective national negotiating team consisting of senior government officials, key political party representatives, civil society and women.”
The Taliban have been holding peace talks with the United States for nearly a year but have refused to meet with the government, viewing it as an American puppet.