No invitation received from Afghan govt, say Taliban

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KABUL: The Afghan Taliban said on Wednesday they had not been officially contacted by Kabul about the resumption of direct talks aimed at ending their conflict,Dwan reported.

The comment came a day after the latest round of dialogue in the Afghan capital between officials from Afghanistan, the United States, China and Pakistan.

The representatives of the four states called on the militants to return to the negotiating table and said they expected the process to begin by the first week of March.

“We are not aware of this, I cannot say anything regarding talks in Islamabad,” said the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a phone conversation.

“We have not received anything officially in this regard, we only heard it from media.”

A first round of direct talks with the Taliban took place in the resort town of Murree last July, but came to a standstill after the Kabul government leaked news of the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar two years before.

In January, during a seminar organised by the Pugwash peace movement in Qatar, Taliban representatives called for their cadres to be removed from US and UN blacklists which have frozen their assets and restricted their freedom of movement.

 

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