The Taliban’s stance of not engaging in peace talks with the current Afghan government “remains unchanged” and the insurgent group has “nothing to do” with next week’s four-nation dialogue in Oman aimed at seeking a politically negotiated end to the war, a senior insurgent official said.
Negotiators from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States are scheduled to meet in the Gulf state on October 16 to revive discussions on encouraging the Taliban to come to the negotiating table and enhance regional anti-terrorism cooperation.
“Nobody has contacted us, nor are we participating in this meeting,” a senior Taliban official told VOA when asked whether the Islamist insurgency intends to join or approve the so-called Quadrilateral Cooperation Group, or QCG. He requested anonymity as he was not authorized to publicly discuss Taliban political matters.
“Our stance on talks with the Kabul government remains unchanged. We have nothing to do with this meeting. It is their [member nations] own affair,” the official said.
The Taliban has long refused to engage in any Afghan peace talks until U.S. and NATO forces completely withdraw from Afghanistan. The insurgents have also been calling for, among other demands, recognition for their so-called political office in Qatar.