Afghan Taliban cancel peace talks with USA citing 'agenda disagreement'

Iranian officials said there will be no talks with the US as long as sanctions are in place

Khalilzad will meet with Afghan government officials and other interested parties to support and facilitate an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan, empowering the Afghan people to chart a shared course for their nation's future, it said.

Talks had been planned for two days starting Wednesday in Qatar, senior Taliban members earlier told Reuters.

The Taliban have so far refused direct talks with the Kabul government which they see as an illegitimate, foreign-appointed regime, and consider their main adversary to be the U.S., which invaded the country in 2001 and toppled their rule.

The Taliban, who are fighting to oust all foreign forces and defeat the government, want to re-impose strict Islamic law in Afghanistan after their 2001 ouster by US -led troops.

In an interview to BBC, Daudzai said Pakistan's government and country's institutions were on the same page, which would provide a suitable environment for holding talks on key issues.

The insurgents, seeking to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ouster by US-led troops, called off their meeting with the U.S. officials in Saudi Arabia this week because of Riyadh's insistence on bringing the Western-backed Afghan government to the table.

Another senior Taliban leader confirmed the Qatar meeting and said no other country would be involved. We had official security dialogue last week in Tehran.

He expressed hope that Afghan Taliban would soon sit with the Afghan government and hold talks.

That Taliban figure also had said the group was refusing to allow what he called "puppet" Afghan officials to take part in the Doha meetings.

Speaking at a ceremony in Kabul, marking the 17th anniversary of the ratification of Afghanistan's Constitution, the CEO reiterated that the Taliban can only join the peace talks under the umbrella of the Afghan government.

As peace talks gained momentum a draft agreement drawn up by the influential US think tank RAND Corporation outlining the clauses for a potential peace deal was circulated among Afghan officials and diplomats in Kabul. It adds that the U.S. may continue providing civilian assistance and seek contributions from other donors.

The document, reviewed by Reuters, suggests that the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation withdraw their military missions in phases over an expected period of 18 months, but the United States may continue providing civilian assistance.

He said that a peace process in which the rights of the citizens of Afghanistan are sacrificed has no credibility and that no one maintains the right to change the name of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The Afghan government says only Afghans are authorised to discuss a peace deal with the Taliban and decide on the future political system. We had a short discussion with them in Moscow but the first official security meeting was in Tehran.

Majority-Shi'ite Iran has long had close ties to Shi'ites in neighboring Afghanistan whose militias have fought the Taliban's Sunni militants.

The Taliban and the United States have cancelled the latest round of peace talks after it was unexpectedly moved to Qatar, citing disagreements over the agenda.

Western diplomats based in Kabul said Pakistan's cooperation in the peace process will be crucial to its success. We had contacts with the Taliban because they control some bordering areas. It has cost Washington almost $1 trillion and killed tens of thousands of people.

Now a US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation operation, Operation Resolute, provide counterterrorism and air support to the Afghan army.

The United States sent troops to Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attacks on NY and Washington.



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