Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Afghan Taliban repudiates hoped-for olive branch to government --- (Reuters) - The Taliban said on Wednesday it had nothing to do with a recent meeting of former and current Taliban figures who appeared open to talks with the Afghan government, raising hope of a negotiated end to many years of bloodshed. -- In a statement emailed to media organizations, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Taliban remained opposed to direct talks with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, whom the Islamist insurgents regard as a Western agent. -- "There was no meeting in Dubai in which the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) participated, nor are there any talks with the so-called Afghan Peace Council," Mujahid said, using the Taliban's name for its 1996-2001 government. -- "Fake negotiations and dramas will not only complicate the matter and prolong the war, but they will not bear fruit." -- On Sunday, Afghan officials said a delegation from Kabul's High Peace Council, a government body established to foster a political end to the war, had gone to Dubai in hopes of meeting with a group of former and current Taliban figures who had hinted at a readiness to hold talks. -- The officials hoped to meet a group that gathered there earlier this month, hosted by a former Taliban minister named Agha Jan Mutassim. The trip seemed to raise the possibility of a breakthrough in the Western-backed Afghan government's long quest for direct peace talks among the Afghan parties. --- Mujahid said Mutassim, who was once the Taliban government's finance minister and played a key role in its political committee, no longer represented the Taliban leadership, which is believed to be in hiding in Pakistan. -- Instead, Mujahid said, the Taliban had authorized only a "particular office" and "designated individuals" to conduct political activities on behalf of the group, which is led by the reclusive cleric Mullah Mohammed Omar. - More, at:


Post a Comment

<< Home