US still hopeful of Afghan Taliban peace talks despite group's unwillingness to engage

Karachi, Sept. 17 (ANI): Washington hoped to talk directly with the Taliban to support an Afghan peace deal, but the militants did not seem willing to do so, a US envoy has said.

The Taliban opened an office in Doha in June aimed at talking to the United States ahead of next year's withdrawal of American troops, but diplomacy failed even before it began.

According to Dawn News, James Dobbins, the US special representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan, said that they would still like to see that dialogue initiated.

He added that the dialogue that would involve the United States and Taliban directly but would also involve the Afghan government or its High Peace Council.

Dobbins said that they were not giving up hope and believe that some positive development will take place.

He said that the Taliban is unwilling to engage with the United States, with the Afghans, with anybody.

According to the report, the Taliban office in Doha angered Afghan President Hamid Karzai who briefly pulled out of separate talks with the United States on a post-2014 security agreement.

In turn, the Taliban refused to talk to Karzai, calling him a US puppet, even though the United States had hoped for the Afghan government to play the main role in talks with the Taliban, the report said.

Dobbins blamed there was a genuine misunderstanding over the role of the office, it added. (ANI)


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