News / Asia

    Taliban Militants Cast Doubt on Peace Talks With Afghan Government

    FILE - Delegations from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China discuss a road map for ending the war with the Taliban at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 23, 2016.
    FILE - Delegations from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China discuss a road map for ending the war with the Taliban at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 23, 2016.
    Ayaz GulKen Schwartz

    Afghanistan's Taliban militants are casting further doubt on prospects for peace talks with the Kabul government.

    In a Pashto language statement given Saturday to VOA, the Taliban said their leadership had not yet decided to engage in talks with Kabul. They said they believed talks could not be productive until all foreign forces had left Afghanistan, sanctions on insurgent leaders had been removed and Taliban prisoners had been freed.

    The statement said U.S. night raids in Afghanistan were continuing. It added that fresh American forces had been deployed to the battlefield and that Afghan forces had also intensified their operations. The Taliban said that in the light of those developments, peace talks would be meaningless.

    FILE - A general view of the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar. Afghan and Taliban officials will hold two days of "reconciliation" talks in Qatar, the Gulf nation's state news agency reported, May 2, 2015.
    FILE - A general view of the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar. Afghan and Taliban officials will hold two days of "reconciliation" talks in Qatar, the Gulf nation's state news agency reported, May 2, 2015.

    In Washington on Saturday, the State Department urged Taliban leaders to change their minds and commit to talks.

    "The Taliban have a choice — to join good-faith negotiations for peace, or continue to fight a war in which they are killing their fellow Afghans and destroying their country," a spokesman said in a statement. "If they choose the latter course, they will continue to face the combined efforts of the Afghan security forces and their international partners."

    Diplomats from Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the U.S. who have organized the talks had hoped the conference would begin the first week in March.

    Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan, Hazrat Omer Zakhilwal, told VOA on Friday that "there is a lot happening in the background" and said he expected peace talks to start within days.

    In a video conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday, President Barack Obama stressed U.S. support for a peace process that he said "reduces violence and ensures lasting stability in Afghanistan and the region."

    White House officials said both presidents intended to use the July NATO summit in Warsaw to reaffirm international support for peace in Afghanistan.

    FILE - An Afghan policeman runs during the gunfire in front of the Indian consulate in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, March 2, 2016.
    FILE - An Afghan policeman runs during the gunfire in front of the Indian consulate in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, March 2, 2016.

    Obama announced late last year that he was postponing the withdrawal of most U.S. forces in Afghanistan for one year, until he leaves office in January 2017.

    U.S. troops are training Afghan forces in taking full responsibility for providing their own security against the Taliban and other militants.

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    by: Haron from: Afghanistan
    March 06, 2016 5:30 AM
    I am not negative with this Quadrilateral peace talks. but, We should talk with a specific group that believe for peace process. now the group is divide with several other groups. it is very difficult to distinguish the group who would be present for quadrilateral group.

    I think this military operations did a positive impact on Taliban activities. and this is a very funny that four countries running for peace behind Taliban. there is no need such running behind Taliban to give them priority, they'll be ready to join Afghan forces as groups of militants joined Afghan forces in Badakhshan and Jawzjan provinces without any priority.

    by: AHMED from: INDIA
    March 05, 2016 8:39 PM
    All Terrorist Groups Sponsored by Saudi Arab have no Brain and no forward planning. So far SA developed Al Qaida, Daesh, Taliban, Boko Haram, Nusrat Front and IS. All these Terrorist got education and training in Saudi Arab. I do not know why SA is still creating New Terrorist Groups in Pakistan, Yemen and Libya. There are plenty of Muslim have no bread and drinking water for daily use, SA cannot reduce their pain rather feel pleasure to see tears in their eyes. Still Today Talibans are getting Financial Help from Saudi Arab like IS in Syria.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 05, 2016 7:47 PM
    The Taliban spring offensive is starting and the Obama administration is desperate to halt it and get some kind of peace talks going before his term as president is over?

    Doesn't anybody in the Obama administration listen? .. The Taliban told the US and the world, there will never be peace in Afghanistan until the all the foreign invaders (the US and NATO) are out of Afghanistan? .. Only the losing side wants peace talks, while the winning side demands or offers terms and conditions for peace? .. Now, who wants peace talks?

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