Taliban dismiss Afghanistan's peace talks offer

31 December, 2018, 11:10 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Security & Crime

"We will meet the United States officials in Saudi Arabia in January next year and we will start our talks that remained incomplete in Abu Dhabi", a member of the Taliban's decision-making Leadership Council told Reuters news agency on Sunday. USA officials had reportedly offered a role to Taliban representatives in the caretaker Afghan government.

A former Taliban leader Akbar Agha told Daily Times from Kabul on Friday that Taliban were yet to decide to attend talks.

"Take heed from the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan and abandon thoughts of testing the mettle of the already proven Afghans", Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement in English, Dari and Pashto.

US President Donald Trump has announced a pullout of American troops from Syria, a decision that prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, and there have been reports that he is considering a partial pullout from Afghanistan.

"Our opposition is with the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan".

"No one, police, army, government employees or anyone, will face revenge behavior from our side".

"I don't think their mindset has changed, but they have realized that without respecting human rights, they can not be accepted by the worldwide community", Bilal Sediqi, a spokesman for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, told Reuters. "I like how the Afghan national security forces are performing", he said.

"I know there is no place for me if the Taliban return in their old style", said Abdul, a 12-year police veteran now working in the western province of Farah.

The Taliban, a predominantly ethnic Pashtun movement, strongest in the south and east of the country, now control large stretches of the countryside, where they levy taxes, run courts and control education.

Both the Taliban and the US are exhausted of war. "They're fighting hard but their losses are not going to be sustainable unless we correct this problem".

Harsh Pant, of the Indian think-tank Observer Research Foundation, wrote that the United States withdrawal could lead to Afghanistan's "gradual descent into a civil war", not just because local actors would fight for power but also because "various regional stakeholders (would) try to reshape the battlefield in accordance with their own strategic priorities".

In the week before President Donald Trump's reported decision to abruptly withdraw 7,000 USA service members from Afghanistan, the top US commander there all but admitted that the 17-year-old war there will not end with a military victory for the Pentagon.

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