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Afghan Negotiators Accuse Taliban Of Foot Dragging In Doha Peace Talks

Afghan security officials display weapons and ammunition seized during recent operations against Taliban militants in Helmand on January 26.

Afghan government negotiators are accusing the Taliban of stalling peace talks in Qatar as frustration builds in Kabul over continued militant attacks.

Negotiators from the two sides have made halting progress since direct talks began in the Qatari capital, Doha, in September against the backdrop of rising violence and calls for a cease-fire.

"Peace and ending the violence are our people and government's top priority," tweeted Afghan government negotiator Nader Nadery on January 26.

However, he claimed the Taliban has not joined formal meetings in Doha for nine days and is "not willing to engage in talks to end the conflict and save lives.”

The Taliban called the suggestion that it was delaying talks “false” and said the two sides are in touch with each other.

"No negotiations can be continuous and happening on a daily basis, since there may also be need for internal meetings," said the spokesman for the Taliban's Doha office, Mohammad Naeem, according to AFP.

The on-and-off talks in Qatar come as President Joe Biden’s new administration in the United States says it is reviewing an agreement reached with the Taliban last year to determine if the militant group is meeting its commitments, including reaching a cease-fire and engaging in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government.

Under a U.S.-Taliban deal reached last February, all foreign forces are to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for security guarantees from the militant group, including severing ties with Al-Qaeda.

The Afghan government said it welcomed the Biden administration’s review of the U.S.-Taliban agreement.

With reporting by AFP
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