Taliban denies readiness to resume meetings with US envoy
January 19 2019 12:03 PM
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (L) meets with US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad -- the US
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (L) meets with US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad -- the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation

QNA/Kabul

The Taliban movement denied news that it was ready to resume meetings with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and reiterated its refusal to deal directly with the government.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement on Saturday that they want to make it clear that they are not holding any meeting with Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad, reiterating position on rejecting dealing with the Afghan government.

In a related context, senior Taliban leaders reported that regional forces including Pakistan contacted them and wanted them to meet with the US delegation in Islamabad and that the Afghan government would join the peace process, however all these means have been rejected.

Pakistani media reported that a meeting between the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Taliban movement was expected in Islamabad after discussions between US special envoy Khalilzad and Pakistani officials including Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday.

Afghan talks have stalled after Taliban accused Khalilzad movement of deviating from the agreed agenda, and it was not clear when the talks would resume.

The United States stresses that any settlement in Afghanistan must be between the internationally recognized Afghan government and the Taliban movement, which has so far refused to deal with the government that it describes as illegal puppet regime. (QNA)



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