Taliban Calls Off Peace Talks In Qatar With U.S

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Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that it is impossible to have a future Afghan government without a role for the Taliban.

"The Taliban said Khalilzad would visit the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and China to continue the discussion", Reuters noted, adding, "Khalilzad's office [a component of the U.S. Department of State] was not available for comment". Tehran is comfortable with the concept of a government in Kabul in which the Taliban are participants, but not a government in which the militants are the "dominant participants", the people added. It has committed about $3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan since US-led forces toppled the Taliban regime after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He said the Kabul government had known of his talks with the Taliban.

A new era of dialogue on political facilitation in Afghanistan and pullout of the U.S. troops is expected to begin, sources said adding that the Afghan elections have been delayed due to these talks.

The US, which sent troops to Afghanistan in the wake of September 11, 2001, attacks on NY and Washington and at the peak of the deployment had more than 100,000 troops in the country, withdrew most of its forces in 2014.

"We would never announce any ceasefire until and unless we achieve major gains on the ground". We had official security dialogue last week in Tehran.

Another Taliban source told Reuters the disagreement focused on Washington's insistence that Afghan government officials must be involved in the talks.

In July, Iranian authorities said Tehran had rejected eight US requests for a meeting between Trump and President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in Sept 2017. It adds that the United States may continue providing civilian assistance and seek contributions from other donors.

"The US supports the desire of the Afghan people and the global community for a political settlement that ends the 40-year conflict and ensures Afghanistan never again serves as a platform for worldwide terrorism".

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The document, reviewed by Reuters, suggests that the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation withdraw their military missions in phases over an expected period of 18 months.

"Any decision regarding the peace process in Afghanistan is supposed to be the authority of the Afghan government and the Afghan people".

An official from Islamabad with knowledge of Pakistan's role in brokering US-Talban directs talks revealed that Taliban have so far turned down Islamabad's request to include Afghanistan in next round of multi-nation "peace talks" scheduled later this month in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The war in Afghanistan is America's longest overseas military intervention.

The people pointed out that Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were the only ones that had recognised the erstwhile Taliban regime in Kabul, while Khalilzad served as the contact person for U.S. oil company Unocal, which helped the Taliban lobby with the USA state department in 1997 to recognise the regime in Kabul. It has cost Washington almost $1 trillion and killed tens of thousands of people.

The US still keeps around 14,000 troops there as part of a NATO-led mission aiding Afghan security forces and hunting militants.

The United States sent troops to Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks on NY and Washington.

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