The Taliban group rejected reports that they were prepared to resume meetings with the U.S. special representative for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad and insisted their refusal to talk directly with Afghanistan.


The Taliban group rejected reports that they were prepared to resume meetings with the U.S. special representative for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad and insisted their refusal to talk directly with Afghanistan.
Pakistani newspapers and television stations reported that a meeting in Islamabad was in prospect following discussions between Khalilzad and Pakistani officials including Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday.

Senior Taliban leaders, meanwhile, said that regional powers including Pakistan had approached them and wanted them to meet the U.S. delegation in Islamabad and also include the Afghan government in the peace process but that the approaches had been rejected, according to Reuters.
“We wanted to make it clear that we will not hold any meeting with Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement.
“We have made it clear again and again that we would never hold any meeting with the Afghan government as we know that they are not capable of addressing our demands,” said one senior Taliban leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Taliban leader said peace talks with the U.S. delegation could resume if they were assured that only three issues would be discussed – a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, an exchange of prisoners and lifting a ban on the movement of Taliban leaders.
“The two sides reviewed developments post Abu Dhabi, in order to take the Afghan peace process forward,” a foreign office statement said.
The statement didn’t give any further details on the talks, but several local TV channels reported that Pakistan agreed to host the next round of talks between the Afghan Taliban and the United States in Islamabad.


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