Pakistani officials are reportedly intensifying their efforts to get
together US and Taliban negotiators for a new round of peace talks in
Afghanistan. They express confidence that they can get the two sides together, but say that any success or failure will depend on the negotiators themselves.
Talks between the two sides were going very well, with talk recently that there would be a deal to establish a new government in Afghanistan which would include Taliban representation. This was part of the reason the US wanted the existing Afghan government to delay their elections.
But in the last couple of weeks, things appear to have soured, as the US has apparently backed away from talk of a pullout, and are now trying to get the Taliban to grant them having “long-term bases” which has the Taliban threatening to withdraw from the talks entirely.
The Taliban has long made clear that they consider their main condition for peace the withdrawal of all US and other foreign forces from Afghanistan. Since there is talk of a US drawdown at any rate, it’s not clear why officials are suddenly seeking long-term bases to keep troops there post-war.
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