Taliban Reject Reports on Talks with US Envoy
KABUL (Tasnim) – The spokesman for Afghanistan’s Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, on Sunday dismissed as false recent media reports that the deputy head of the militant group has met with the US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation.
According to Tasnim dispatches, Mujahid firmly rejected reports about a meeting between Taliban’s Mullah Yaqoob and Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-born US diplomat.
Afghan officials are trying to cover up their political turmoil by spreading such rumors, the spokesman stated.
Earlier on Sunday, some Western media reports said the Taliban have held three days of talks with Khalilzad in Qatar, where the Afghan insurgent group has a political office.
Khalilzad has been touring the region in recent days, and reportedly met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday. He is expected to press Ghani to cobble together his own negotiating team, which could prove difficult given the deep divisions within the government.
The talks are aimed at renewing the Afghan peace process and eventually winding down America's longest war. Seventeen years after the US-led invasion that ended Taliban rule, the militants control nearly half of Afghanistan and carry out near-daily attacks on local security forces and government officials.