After Afghan Foreign Ministry officials claimed that peace talks with the Taliban are “on track,” the Taliban was quick to issue a statement to reiterate that no talks have ever taken place with the Karzai government, and that the stalled US talks have not restarted.
The statement went on to say that no new talks with the US would be held “until the Americans take constructive steps and fulfill promises which were agreed upon for confidence building.”
The initial talks looked like the first serious effort at negotiation, after several embarrassing failures, but collapsed in mid-March when, following the Kandahar Massacre, the Taliban said they could no longer justify talking with the “erratic” US.
The confidence building measures were transfers of certain detainees out of Guantanamo Bay, which were stalled when the Karzai government demanded that it be involved in the decision to release them. US Special Envoy Marc Grossman called for new talks last week, but also demanded the Taliban disarm and swear to obey the Karzai government’s constitution first.