HPC Tries to Broker Direct Talks Between Afghan Gov’t, Taliban: Official

(Last Updated On: January 13, 2019)

Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) says it is trying to convince the Taliban insurgent group to hold direct talks with the Afghan government in Jeddah, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

“The expectation was high during the Abu Dhabi meeting but there was no achievement. Now, we are discussing to be prepared for the Jeddah meeting,” said Asadullah Zairi, Deputy Spokesman of HPC.

Last month, the Taliban and U.S. representatives hold talks in Abu Dhabi where they decided that the next round of negotiations be held in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

But later it was said that the meeting had been canceled after a disagreement over the agenda.

In addition, the Taliban has repeatedly denied holding talks with the representatives of the Afghan government.

“The Taliban will hold two rounds of talks. First with the United States and then with the Afghan government. There was no result in the first phase of talks, so there is no hope for the second phase,” said Mullah Abdul Salaam Zaif, Taliban’s former ambassador to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo posted on twitter that he has met with the U.S. top commander in Afghanistan and discussed efforts to support the reconciliation process led by the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.

“We’re working together with the Afghans and our @NATO Allies for a lasting peace,” Pompeo concluded.

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