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Kabul stops peace efforts as Taliban ready to resume talks with US

AT News Report

KABUL: After US President Donald Trump declared peace talks with Taliban ‘dead’, the Kabul administration following the suit said it has suspended peace efforts until election slated for 28 September.

President Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi in a press briefing on Saturday has put election as priority of the government, adding peace efforts will be commenced after presidential polls.

He emphasized over timely election, dismissing idea of an interim step up. “Those who call for interim-government are against the Afghans and Republic system,” Sediqqi told newsmen.

Peace efforts is ended for now as Taliban group scrambling to resume talks with US.

Taliban representatives visited Russian and held discussions with Russian officials in Moscow who expressed willingness to resume talks with US.

Taliban’s Qatar-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen confirmed the meeting in the Russian capital on Friday, saying the group’s delegation held consultations with Zamir Kabulov, Russia’s special envoy for Afghanistan, foreign media reported.

At the meeting, Russia stressed the necessity of the resumption of talks between the US and the Taliban, while the group’s delegation reiterated their readiness to renewing dialogue with Washington, an unidentified Russian foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency.

Peace talks between the US and the Taliban began last October in Qatar, with the aim of ending the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan. After nine rounds of negotiations in Doha, US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said earlier this month a peace agreement was finalized “in principle”.

Shaheen, the Taliban spokesman, said Trump’s move came as a surprise to the group as the peace negotiations had concluded “successfully” and a deal was to be announced soon. 

“It was astonishing for us because we had already concluded the peace agreement with the American negotiating team,” Shaheen told Al Jazeera.

He added that the group wanted Qatar to announce the agreement before attending any meeting at Camp David.

When the talks dead for now with the Taliban group pledged to continue war, Mr, Sediqqi said there will be a big change in the country’s security within the next 10 days.

Taliban’s attempt to visit Moscow and other countries exhibited the group’s failure in the peace process, Sediqqi said, adding, “the Taliban has lost the main venue for peace.”

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