Negotiation process has been harmed by Trump and US demands: Taliban

WION Web Team Kabul, Afghanistan Feb 04, 2020, 08.17 PM(IST)

File photo: Members of a Taliban delegation leaving after peace talks with Afghan senior politicians in Moscow, Russia May 30, 2019.  Photograph:( Reuters )

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Washington and the Taliban are still wrangling over a possible deal that would see US troops begin to leave Afghanistan in return for security guarantees. 

The Taliban lashed out at the Trump administration on Wednesday, accusing the US of holding up negotiations over a potential withdrawal deal that would see the Americans end their 18-year war in Afghanistan.

The US and the Taliban are still wrangling over a possible deal that would see US troops begin to leave Afghanistan in return for security guarantees. 

Also read: US envoy for Taliban talks back in Kabul: Official

However, there appears to have been little progress in reaching a deal in recent weeks, prompting the insurgents to saddle blame on the White House and what they say are a growing list of demands by the Americans.

The Taliban "has the intention & capacity for a resolution," said spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a tweet.

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"Negotiation process has been harmed by Trump's tweet, numerous US demands & quarrel b/w US & Kabul officials. Secretary Pompeo should refrain from blame-shifting. Our stance in principled & concerted - unlike them," he added.

The Taliban's remarks came a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the insurgents must make "demonstrable evidence of their will and capacity to reduce violence" in order to reach an agreement during a meeting with Central Asian officials in Uzbekistan.

The tweet also came days after Zalmay Khalilzad - the US special envoy leading negotiations with the Taliban launched a new round of shuttle diplomacy by travelling to both Pakistan and Afghanistan to brief officials on the status of the talks.

In recent weeks, the US has been largely been quiet on the exact status of the negotiations, while the Taliban has insisted they were prepared to reduce fighting to move talks forward.

The US and Taliban had been negotiating the deal for a year and were on the brink of an announcement in September last year when President Donald Trump abruptly declared the process "dead", citing Taliban violence.

Talks were later restarted in December in Qatar, but paused again following an attack near the US-run Bagram military base in Afghanistan.