Taliban-US talks in Islamabad postponed

Pakistan       by Web Desk | Published

A delegation of the Afghan Taliban, which was scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on February 18, has postponed its visit because of travel restrictions, Taliban spokesperson confirmed Sunday.

"The Islamic Emirate had arranged for their representatives to participate but unfortunately, most members of the negotiations team were unable to travel due to the USA and United Nations blacklist and the meeting was postponed", the Taliban said in a statement.

The statement said that Taliban was prepared for the talks but most negotiators in the group could not attend the meeting as they are on the USA and United Nations blacklist.

The group rejected the reports which say the talks were postponed by the Taliban.

Previously, Afghanistan launched a similar complaint against Russian Federation for allowing Taliban members to travel to Moscow for a conference in which almost 50 Afghans, including various political leaders, were invited.

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Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said a meeting with USA delegation was expected to be conducted in Islamabad on February 18. In a letter to the Security Council, the Afghan UN mission wrote that the Taliban-Pakistan meeting "constitutes a violation of the national sovereignty of Afghanistan".

"As the negotiation process continues to place between the Islamic Emirates and United States, and meetings have already been held in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the next round will resume on the 25th of February 2019 in Qatari capital, Doha as per agreement reached during the previous meeting", according to a statement from Taliban spokesman.

This comes after reports said that Taliban would hold talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.

Afghan and Taliban officials said the Afghan government complaint was most likely only part of the reason for cancellation, particularly since some of the Taliban delegation members have always been living in Pakistan anyway, but it has renewed a debate around the ability of insurgent leaders to travel freely in recent years.

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