US envoy James Dobbins insists that no progress has been made on the stalled, and indeed never fully begun, peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar, saying that he is waiting for the Taliban to confirm if the talks will go forward.
Dobbins went on to term the issue over the flag flying at the Taliban’s office in Qatar an example of them having “overplayed their hands” and suffered a major propaganda defeat.
The Taliban offered a prison exchange last week as their vision of how the peace talks would move forward. The US hasn’t responded to that directly, and instead seems to be taking the position that the offer amounts to no response, and that they’re still waiting.
The Taliban had initially tapped the talks for last Thursday, but the US withdrew after the Afghan government did so, and there has been no follow-up date set. Afghan President Hamid Karzai cited the Taliban’s decision to fly the flag of pre-occupation Afghanistan as a reason to scrap the talks.
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