While the Pakistani media were reporting on Friday that a deal was in
place to host the next round of Afghan peace talks in Istanbul, the Taliban was quick to correct the record over the weekend, saying that they have no intention of taking part in these talks.
Talks between the US and Taliban have been on a rough footing, with US requests for long-term bases in post-war Afghanistan angering negotiators, as the previous condition was a US pullout.
Which might’ve been reason enough that the Taliban were reticent to get back on board with direct talks with Zalmay Khalilzad, though Taliban officials say it is the plan to include the Afghan government that is derailing it.
The Taliban has long insisted that there is no point to include the Afghan government in the talks, because they are not able to meet any demands. The US has at times insisted Afghan participation is essential, though recent talk has been that the US was planning to offer the Taliban representation in a new Afghan government.
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