Setback in Afghan peace talks? Afghan Taliban Refusal

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Setback in Afghan peace talks? Afghan Taliban Refusal

KABUL - A setback has been reported in Afghanistan peace talks as reportedly Afghan Taliban have refused to hold direct talks with government.

Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) on Friday has set condition of Afghan government direct meeting with Taliban for sending its delegation to the meeting.

The date of the Jeddah talks will be specified by Saudi Arabia in collaboration with other participants of the meeting, said Ehsan Taheri the HPC spokesman.

Taheri said government will send its delegation to Jeddah talks if they are ensured that face-to-face talks will be held between the delegation and Taliban representatives.

In Abu Dhabi talks which were held between US and Taliban officials, the militant group refused to meet the Afghan government delegation who were in the UAE for holding proximity talks with the group.

The Afghan government last week said it will not send a delegation to Jeddah meeting if Taliban representatives refuse to meet their team.

“The issue of Jeddah is completely different. No doubt, Afghanistan should be involved in this meeting. It is not negotiation, but it is the issue of Afghanistan peace and it is about trust building and government’s precondition is that government should be strongly assured that the experience of Abu Dhabi will not be repeated,” Taheri said.

The Jeddah meeting was supposed to be held on January 04.

Commenting on reports about Jeddah meeting, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a message to TOLOnews that they do not have Jeddah meeting in their plan and that the reports released about the meeting were not real.

Political analysts said Taliban spokesman’s remarks on Jeddah meeting indicate that the efforts of US, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for bringing the group to negotiations table have faced new hurdles.

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