Abdullah Slams Taliban for Continuing to Avoid Negotiations

Talks have been stalled for weeks as US flip-flops on pullout

Three weeks of talks in Doha have gone nowhere for the intra-Afghan process. To be more correct, there haven’t really been formal talks, as the Taliban are waiting, and Afghan negotiator Abdullah Abdullah is increasingly critical of them for not at least coming to the table.

It’s no oversight by the Taliban. The first round of talks ended before the US inauguration, and the Taliban have been cautious about this new round since they’re not clear the US is even still on board with peace, meaning the intra-Afghan talks could be a waste of time.

President Biden and his officials have been dismissive of the peace process, and talk of keeping troops in Afghanistan beyond the May deadline. The Taliban has warned that since their peace goal was removal of foreign troops, that’s a deal-breaker, and they haven’t gone back to the table with the Afghan government.

Talks had been making progress right up until that point, but it looks like they’re falling apart without an international partner. President Ghani is warning of regional consequences if the war in Afghanistan starts scaling back up.

What’s interesting is that some Afghan officials, notably Ghani, had bad-mouthed the peace process before, and would never admit that violence is down from its peak. In not admitting as much, they may be ushering back in the bad old days where it’s just pointless war and no end in sight.

There is still time to save the process, but likely this rests on the US, as it is unthinkable that Afghan officials will reach peace with US airstrikes still raining down and ground troops still in the nation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.