Taliban Says It Is Meeting With U.S. Officials, Amid Escalating Peace Efforts

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Taliban and US engage in multi party talks in the UAE. Taliban Says It Is Meeting With U.S. Officials, Amid Escalating Peace Efforts. Afghan government on the sidelines.

Taliban Says It Is Meeting With U.S. Officials, Amid Escalating Peace Efforts
U.S. officials are meeting with representatives of the Afghan Taliban for talks in the United Arab Emirates, the Islamist militant group announced Monday. The meeting, which was expected to include delegates from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the UAE, would mark a new step forward in tenuous peace negotiations.

The Taliban added, however, that it had no intention of meeting with members of the internationally recognized Afghan government.

"There is no plan of holding a meeting with representatives of the Kabul administration and neither are they present in the meeting being attended by the delegation of Islamic Emirate," spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a Taliban statement Monday, referring to the organization by the name it used for its government in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

It was late in 2001, after the Taliban was found to be harboring al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, that the U.S. overthrew the group and helped install a new government in Kabul. In the 17-year war that has followed, the longest in U.S. history, the Taliban has frequently refused to negotiate with a state it regards as a puppet of a foreign power — and it rejected media reports that Afghan government officials were involved in Monday's talks.
Taliban Says It Is Meeting With U.S. Officials, Amid Escalating Peace Efforts
 
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