News   /   Afghanistan

Taliban sets conditions for peace talks with Afghan government

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Pakistan's National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz (C) chairs the third round of four-way peace talks with Afghanistan, US and Chinese delegates in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, on February 6, 2016 © AFP

The Taliban militant group has refused to participate in peace talks with the Afghan government until its preconditions are fulfilled.

In a statement on Saturday, the militant group said “until the occupation of foreign troops ends, until Taliban names are removed from international blacklists and until our detainees are released,” peace talks for an end to the conflict in Afghanistan will yield no results.

The Taliban also criticized the increase in the number of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

It also said that Afghan forces have intensified their battle against the militants.

Officials from Afghanistan, the United States, Pakistan and China met in the Afghan capital, Kabul, in February for a new round of talks aimed at reviving the peace process in the country.

The quartet said that the Afghan government and Taliban were expected to meet for face-to-face peace talks by the first week of March in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. But the Taliban denied they would be participating in any upcoming talks in Islamabad.

An Afghan police man keeps watch at the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, February 27, 2016. © Reuters

Over the past months, Taliban militants have captured some key areas in the north and south of Afghanistan. The militants have also carried out attacks in the capital, Kabul.

This has prompted renewed efforts in the country and by neighbors to revive stalled negotiations between the militant group and the Afghan government.

Pakistan brokered direct peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban last summer following the announcement of the death of the group's founder Mullah Omar some two years earlier.

Many suspect that Taliban could reappear on the negotiating table as factional infighting and leadership division has deepened in the group since the death of Omar.

Afghanistan is gripped by insecurity more than 14 years after the United States and its allies attacked the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. Although the 2001 attack overthrew the Taliban, many areas across Afghanistan still face violence and insecurity.

Despite a previous pledge to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by the end of his presidency, US President Barack Obama announced last October that Washington will keep thousands of troops in the country when he leaves office in 2017.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku