Afghan Negotiator Claims ‘Progress’ in Taliban Talks

Despite No Apparent Progress, He Insists on Secret Progress

Afghan negotiator Mohammad Stanekzai, ever-optimistic about the chance of a peace deal with the Taliban despite narrowly escaping assassination in an attack by them a year ago, dismissed the apparent lack of progress today in comments to reports.

“When politicians are on the stage, they will be always saying something different than what they are discussing in private,” Stanekzai insisted, claiming that there is secret progress behind the scenes and he is “optimistic” of a settlement.

Stanekzai has been hosting high profile press conferences of this sort for years as a head of the Peace and Reintegration Program, constantly claiming the Karzai government has a “bright future” even as violence continues to soar nationwide.

The Taliban has repeatedly ruled out negotiating with the Karzai government at all, saying that while they are open to talks with NATO occupation forces on the terms of ending the war, they see no point in talking to a government they believe wouldn’t survive without NATO’s imprimatur to begin with.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.