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Taliban reject plans to hold direct talks with Afghan government


ANI Asia
The Taliban on Sunday rejected a statement from the State Minister for Peace about plans to hold direct talks with the Afghan government within the next two weeks in a European country.
In a tweet on Sunday, a spokesperson for Taliban Zabihullah Mujahid said that the talks will not be held directly with the Afghan government, but will be held among all parties in which the government would attend as a participant.
The spokesperson said that the Taliban would initiate direct negotiations with the government only after the announcement of a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces from the country, reported Tolo News.
On Saturday, the State Minister for Peace Abdul Salam Rahimi had said that the direct talks between the government and the Taliban will begin within the next two weeks and that it will be held in a European country.
Rahimi added that the ministry has begun consultations with different stakeholders over the formation of a 15-member delegation who will lead the talks with the group.
Following Rahimi's announcement, US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad had clarified that the talks will happen after the US "concludes its own agreement" with the Taliban.
The Taliban have consistently refused to hold direct negotiations with President Ashraf Ghani's government calling it a puppet administration.
The recent developments come as the Afghanistan government is involved with its international allies, especially the US to finalise a peace agreement to end the civil war in the Asian country.

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First Published: Jul 28 2019 | 6:15 PM IST

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