Afghan Taliban rule out talks with US in Pakistan

Kabul: The Afghan Taliban on Saturday rejected Pakistani media reports of possible talks with the US in Islamabad and reiterated their refusal to deal directly with the Afghan government. The news of possible talks between the militants and the US came to light on Friday following the visit of US President Donald Trump’s Special Envoy on Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, to Islamabad.

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid made it clear in a statement that the group will not hold any talks with the US in Pakistan, reports Efe news. He rejected the reports as false rumours. The Pakistan media on Friday reported that a meeting between the Afghan Taliban and Khalilzad could be possible following his discussions with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other officials.

In the last few months, the Taliban and the US have held several meetings in United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The Taliban has also held talks with representatives from Iran in Tehran in December 2018, with an aim to establish peace in Afghanistan. However, the militants have refused to carry out negotiations with the Afghan government and had earlier blamed the US of stalling the talks by refusing to withdraw foreign troops from Afghanistan.

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