Taliban Frustrated by Additional US Demands for Afghan Peace Talks

Taliban sees US 'wasting time'

President Trump’s recent demand that the Taliban unconditionally agree to a “reduction of violence” before Afghan peace talks even formally resume has sparked frustration from the Taliban, which expressed annoyance at additional demands and accused the US of “wasting time.”

Since Trump cancelled the almost finished talks in October, that’s been a problem. Trump initially added the condition of a ceasefire to the peace deal, over warnings from negotiators that this would be a hard sell. They managed to get the Taliban to agree to this, but now Trump has added a reduction of violence before they can even talk about the deal that would end with a ceasefire.

Adding to the difficulties, the Taliban are reporting that their preliminary talks with US negotiator Zelmay Khalilzad have gotten bogged down heavily in trying to work out a definition of what “reduction of violence” would even mean if the Taliban were going to agree to it.

For a deal which could have been made months ago, there is a lot of difficulty in making new advancement. Amnesty International also issued a statement condemning the “absurdity” of the matter, saying that with both sides guilty of so many attacks on civilians, they should stop pretending that there is a “acceptable level of violence” to be reduced to.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.