Taliban accuses govt of not being interested in peace talks

The Taliban’s spokesman in Doha, Qatar, Mohammad Naeem, on Tuesday accused the Afghan Republic’s negotiating team of not being interested in moving peace talks forward.

In a video message Tuesday, Naeem said: “Although the two sides had held a number of joint meetings after Eid, the government delegation was not interested in talks and was probably looking forward to [President Ashraf] Ghani and [High Council for National Reconciliation Chairman Abdullah] Abdullah’s visit to the US.”

Naeem also accused the government’s delegation of leaking information about the peace discussions to the media, and of passing on details around the talks between contact groups to foreign countries.

He said this gave the wrong impression that the Taliban was not interested in talks.

According to Naeem, the Taliban see the peace process as a responsibility, but stated the Afghan Republic was using it as a propaganda tool. He accused government of issuing false “poisonous” propaganda that was contradictory to the peace process.

Talks got off to a good start in September last year but within weeks had all but stalled. In the ensuing months, small groups from both teams have met but no real progress has been achieved.