Taliban call off peace talks with US officials

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 08, 2019, 05.46 PM (IST)

The Taliban on Tuesday cancelled the planned peace talks with the US officials in Qatar over an agenda disagreement.

The meeting was cancelled even after the change in the venue of the meet on the demands of the Taliban. The Taliban had earlier demanded a shift in the venue of the talks to Qatar.

"Both sides have agreed to not meet in Qatar," senior Taliban members based in Afghanistan told Reuters.

The meeting between the leaders of the two groups aimed at a discussion to end the possible ceasefire in 2019 and the withdrawal of foreign forces.

Talks had been planned for two days starting Wednesday in Qatar, senior Taliban members earlier told Reuters. The Taliban had rejected requests from regional powers to allow Afghan officials to take part in the discussion.

The Taliban regards the United States as its main adversary in the Afghan war and views direct talks with Washington as a legitimate effort to seek the withdrawal of foreign troops before engaging with the Afghan government.

The war in Afghanistan is America's longest overseas military intervention. It has cost Washington nearly a trillion dollars and killed tens of thousands of people.

Diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict have intensified since Taliban representatives began meeting with Khalilzad, an Afghan-born, US diplomat last year. Officials from the warring sides have met at least three times, but fighting has not subsided.

The leaders of the Taliban have already refused to hold direct talks with Afghanistan government.

(With inputs from Reuters)

 

 

Story highlights

Talks had been planned for two days starting Wednesday in Qatar, senior Taliban members earlier told Reuters. The Taliban had rejected requests from regional powers to allow Afghan officials to take part in the discussion.