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Karzai suspends troop talks with US

Karzai suspends troop talks with US

Kabul: The Afghan government suspended talks with the United States about the US troop presence after 2014 when the NATO-led coalition ends its combat mission in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday.

A statement from Mr. Karzai’s office did not mention specifically the reason, but the announcement came a day after the Taliban opened a political office in Doha and the US said it would hold talks with the militants there.

“In view of the contradiction between acts and the statements made by the United States of America in regard to the peace process, the Afghan government suspended the negotiations currently under way in Kabul,” the statement said.

Analysts said Mr. Karzai is not happy with the US role in talks with the Taliban. The insurgent movement also seems to have snubbed the Afghan government in the process.

No one from the Afghan embassy was informed or invited to Tuesday’s opening.

While the Taliban did not reject categorically any talks with Mr. Karzai as they had done earlier, they said they would talk to “Afghans in due appropriate time.” Officials have said US and Taliban officials were to meet for talks on Thursday. No mention was made of Afghan officials being present at that meeting.

Mr. Karzai has said in the past that Afghanistan cannot be sidelined during any peace talks with the Taliban. Last year, he became furious and asked the Afghan ambassador to Qatar to return home after the Taliban disclosed they would open the Doha office.

Mr. Karzai said on Tuesday that he wanted the Taliban to move the talks from Doha to Kabul soon. He also said he would send representatives to meet with the Taliban in Doha.


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