Taliban: No Talks With Afghan Govt Until US Agrees to Withdraw Troops

Ghani suggests US doesn't have authority to negotiate with the Taliban

While Afghan officials say they expect direct talks with the Taliban to start within two weeks, the Taliban was quick to say that this isn’t going to happen. Taliban officials say they have no intention of any direct talks yet.

This appears to be a bargaining position on their talks with the US, as Taliban officials say that there will be no talks with the Afghan government until the US agrees to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

The four-stage US-Taliban peace plan had a direct power-sharing deal with the Afghan government as one of the terms to be reached, and while the Taliban was open to such talks before, they now seem to want to secure the US pullout part first.

Afghan President Ghani appeared to object to the US talks anyhow, saying that only his government can have the authority to reach deals with the Taliban, suggesting he is unhappy being cut out of the talks.

While the US has given lip-service to Ghani being involved, they’ve also never let it be an obstacle to talks with the Taliban, and intend to ultimately reach a deal with the Taliban either way.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.