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U.S. to meet Taliban in Islamabad on February 18 - Taliban spokesman

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U.S. to meet Taliban in Islamabad on February 18 - Taliban spokesman

By Abdul Qadir Sediqi

 

2019-02-13T222943Z_1_LYNXNPEF1C1W5_RTROPTP_3_AFGHANISTAN-USA-MEETING.JPG

FILE PHOTO: U.S. military advisers from the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade walk at an Afghan National Army base in Maidan Wardak province, Afghanistan August 6, 2018. REUTERS/James Mackenzie/File Photo

 

KABUL (Reuters) - Taliban negotiators will meet their U.S. counterparts on Feb. 18 in Pakistan's capital Islamabad as part of accelerating diplomacy to end more than 17 years of war in Afghanistan, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Wednesday.

 

But a U.S. State Department representative said in a statement that the United States had "not received a formal invitation to any talks."

 

The talks would come a week ahead of previously scheduled negotiations between the two sides in Qatar on Feb. 25. Mujahid said in a statement that the Qatar talks would still take place as scheduled.

 

Mujahid said his side would also meet Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan to hold "comprehensive discussions about Pakistan-Afghanistan relations".

 

While he said the Taliban delegation would meet the U.S. team, he did not specify any meetings with team head, U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.

 

Khalilzad is due in Pakistan ahead of the Qatar talks as part of a six-country swing through Europe and the Middle East as he tries to build support for efforts to end America's longest war.

 

Both the hardline Islamist movement and the United States hailed progress after the end of the last round of negotiations in Qatar last month but Western diplomats familiar with discussions say that many tough hurdles lie ahead.

 

The U.S. side is expected to push hard for a ceasefire between Taliban insurgents and foreign-backed Afghan forces before any agreement on the withdrawal of U.S.-led foreign troops.

 

Taliban officials say they want all foreign troops out before a ceasefire, but would still welcome non-military foreign help to re-build the country.

 

Washington is also seeking more details on fresh assurances from the Taliban that it would not allow Afghanistan to be used by groups such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State to attack the United States and its allies, Western diplomats said.

 

It is also pushing for the Taliban to talk to the Afghan government, which it has so far shut out of talks, branding it as a puppet of Washington.

 

U.S. President Donald Trump used his State of the Union address last week to say progress in negotiations with the Taliban would allow a reduction in the approximately 14,000 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan and a renewed "focus on counter terrorism."

 

(Additional reporting and writing by Greg Torode; Additional reporting by Jonathan Landay in Washington; Editing by Toby Chopra and Lisa Shumaker)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-02-14

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Alexander the Great could not conquer this country. The Soviet Union could not conquer these people. Are we not learning from history?

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3 hours ago, Somtamnication said:

Alexander the Great could not conquer this country. The Soviet Union could not conquer these people. Are we not learning from history?

Alexander's army refused to go any further, they thought they were near the end of the earth.   They may have been correct.

  • Haha 2

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

U.S. to meet Taliban in Islamabad on February 18 - Taliban spokesman

... to discuss the U.S. terms of surrender

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12 minutes ago, grumbleweed said:

... to discuss the U.S. terms of surrender

image.png.7af3c724ddc64a5cd60d3baa8d61bfa6.png

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17 minutes ago, grumbleweed said:

... to discuss the U.S. terms of surrender

What's to discuss?

Trump has already told the military to plan a compete immediate withdrawal because the Taliban promised Trump that the Taliban guarantees that it will keep "terrorists" out of Afghanistan.

Trump has surrendered in word.

  • Thanks 1

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1 hour ago, grumbleweed said:

... to discuss the U.S. terms of surrender

 

Or possibly how they will co-operate (together with Iran) against IS-K.

 

 

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Any way to get out of that misbegotten hellhole of a country and conflict is fine by me. Once Bin Laden was erased, there was no reason to stay.

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5 hours ago, Srikcir said:

What's to discuss?

Trump has already told the military to plan a compete immediate withdrawal because the Taliban promised Trump that the Taliban guarantees that it will keep "terrorists" out of Afghanistan.

Trump has surrendered in word.

It used to be “we don’t negotiate with terrorists”-now it’s “ok, we believe the terrorists”

  • Like 2

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