Taliban Meets US Officials in United Arab Emirates

Afghan officials not involved as meeting starts

In a move seen as an attempt to accelerate peace talks in Afghanistan, the Taliban’s delegation has met with foreign officials in the United Arab Emirates. This was primarily a meeting between the US and Taliban, with officials from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the UAE also present.

It is the third round of the US-led talks, and the inclusion of the other nations was seen as a positive sign that the region is backing peace efforts. Conspicuously absent, however, is the Afghan government.

This comes just following the Afghan government’s appointing of a new 12-man negotiating team. They were not, however, invited to participate in the talks, and said they were “extremely disappointed’ by that fact.

The Taliban has long resisted the idea of having direct talks with the Afghan government, saying that the government has no real power, and exists only as a US puppet. They have, then, said their negotiation is with the US, not the government.

US officials, however, have previously said they want the Afghan government involved in the talks, keen on coming up with a settlement that both sides are happy with. So far, that doesn’t seem to amount to getting them into the talks.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.