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Taliban brush off claims about al-Qaeda in Afghanistan

AT News

The government of Afghanistan has denied “baseless claims” made by former US peace envoy about presence of al-Qaeda terrorist network in Afghanistan.

The US veteran diplomat, Zalmay Khalilzad, made the remarks in a recent interview.

Khalilzad said reports indicate that leader of Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan or an adjacent territory. He also said that the US was monitoring the commitments of the Islamic Emirate regarding terrorism. “As I said, a lack of trust between us and them, that is why it is very important not take their word … in terms of what they say or what they commit to, that is why we are saying that it has to be over the horizon, monitoring of commitment on terrorism,” he added.

But the deputy minister of information and culture Zabiullah Mujahid denied Khalilzad’s remarks.  

“No, I don’t see such a danger; someone like that does not exist here and we haven’t received the information on such a level,” he said.  

The cutting of ties between the Islamic Emirate and Al-Qaeda was one of the main factors in the talks between the US and the Taliban in Qatar.

Khalilzad, who recently stepped down from his position as the US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation brokered a deal with the Islamic Emirate on February 29,  2020, which also included the withdrawal of foreign troops as a condition.

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