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Men wearing facemasks as a precautionary measure against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus walk past a wall painted with images of US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R), in Kabul April 5, 2020. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Taliban accuse Kabul of delaying peace talks

Taliban and Afghan government duke it out diplomatic brinkmanship as war is throwing Afghanistan out of gear and peace negotiations are faltering. It strains credulity to believe that reconciliation with Taliban will be a possibility, given their belligerence and belief that they could rise to power by force. We have stepped into a void by trying to talk to Taliban. Delirium has swept Afghanistan’s war and diplomacy with the insurgents

AT News

KabuL: Taliban on Tuesday accused the Afghan government of delaying peace negotiations by showing no interest in moving the long-stalled talks forward, a broadside that is facing Kabul’s strong rebuke.

This is as the Afghan government recently raised the same issue recently, accusing the Taliban of hampering peace talks by conjuring up excuses to evade serious negotiations. The Taliban are also blamed for using violence and their recent battlefield gains as a leverage to move the balance of power in negotiations to their favor.

Taliban spokesman in Doha on Tuesday said the Afghan government’s negotiating team was not interested in continuing peace negotiations.

In a video message Tuesday, Mohammad Naeem said that both negotiating sides had held multiple joint meetings after Eid, but accused the government delegation of having no interest.

“Kabul’s negotiating team is probably looking forward to the recent visit of President Ghani and chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah to Washington,” he said.

Naeem also accused the government’s delegation of leaking information about peace discussions to the media, and of passing on details around the talks between joint contact groups to foreign countries.

He said: “This has given the wrong impression that the Taliban was not interested in talks”.

There was a silver lining last year in September when the peace talks began in Qatar, but disagreements inundated them within weeks after both sides started slinging accusations against each other for lack of interest. Ever since then, small groups from both teams have met but to no avail.

Taliban and Afghan government duke it out diplomatic brinkmanship as war is throwing Afghanistan out of gear and peace negotiations are faltering. It strains credulity to believe that reconciliation with Taliban will be a possibility, given their belligerence and belief that they could rise to power by force. Delirium has swept Afghanistan’s war and diplomacy with the insurgents.

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