Taliban cancel Afghanistan peace talks with the United States

Iranian officials said there will be no talks with the US as long as sanctions are in place

Iranian officials said there will be no talks with the US as long as sanctions are in place

When asked if a meeting this week between USA officials and the Taliban in Saudi Arabia would take place, Daudzai said, "Unless they [Taliban] agree to meet with the Afghan government face to face, that kind of meetings may be hard to be continued".

"The US officials insisted that the Taliban should meet the Afghan authorities in Qatar and both sides were in disagreement over declaring a ceasefire in 2019", a foreign agency quoted a Taliban source as saying.

Talks had been planned for two days starting Wednesday in Qatar, senior Taliban members earlier told Reuters.

Wednesday's discussions were also due to only include the United States and the Taliban, contrary to previous talks in which Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE were involved.

Donald Trump's special Afghan envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is travelling to India to coordinate efforts to facilitate an intra-Afghan political settlement, the State Department has announced, a day after the USA president discussed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ways to enhance cooperation in war-torn Afghanistan.

Abdullah said the Taliban have not changed since their austere regime was toppled by US-led forces in 2001.

A new era of dialogue on political facilitation in Afghanistan and pullout of the United States troops is expected to begin, sources said adding that the Afghan elections have been delayed due to these talks. "Yes, he conveyed Afghanistan President's special message to Prime Minister of Pakistan during his meeting Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi", a senior official of Afghanistan's Embassy in Islamabad told Al Arabiya English. "We have the feeling that Zalmay Khalilzad doesn't have enough power to make important decisions", another Taliban official said.

Iran says they are holding parallel talks with the Taliban. "They are coordinating with us and they are taking our permission", he said, referring to meetings between the Taliban and representatives from the USA, Russia and Iran.

As peace talks gained momentum a draft agreement drawn up by the influential United States think tank RAND Corporation outlining the clauses for a potential peace deal was circulated among Afghan officials and diplomats in Kabul. It adds that the United States may continue providing civilian assistance.

The document, reviewed by Reuters, suggests that the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation withdraw their military missions in phases over an expected period of 18 months. He denied that Kabul was being marginalized in the peace process and said all countries pursuing negotiations were briefing the government every step of the way. Zarif said it was up to Afghans to decide what role the Taliban should have but Afghanistan's neighbours would not want them to be in overall control.

The Taliban and the United States have cancelled the latest round of peace talks after it was unexpectedly moved to Qatar, citing disagreements over the agenda.

The US is seeking a lasting peace to the country's longest war, which as cost almost 1 trillion dollars and thousands of lives. It has cost Washington almost a trillion dollars and killed tens of thousands of people.

Western diplomats based in Kabul said Pakistan's cooperation in the peace process will be crucial to its success. Pakistan denies the claim.

The United States sent troops to Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attacks on NY and Washington.

The insurgents, seeking to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ouster by US -led troops, called off a meeting with USA officials in Saudi Arabia this week because of Riyadh's insistence involving the Afghan government.

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