Taliban scorn calls for peace talks’ relocation to Afghanistan


KABUL: The Taliban has declined the Afghan president’s call for holding the next phase of the Afghan talks within Afghanistan.

Mohammad Naeem, the Taliban spokesperson, says the peace process spoilers demanded such matters for maintaining their personal power and interests secured.

“Many areas in the country are in our control, and any decision we get belongs to us. These locations were suggested to them by the United Nations a while ago in which they mentioned that the members of (the Taliban) remain on a blacklist and pressure is brought on (the Taliban). All these statements are in contradiction,” Naeem was quoted as saying by ToloNews, a local TV channel.

Naeem, however, confirmed that both sides would proceed with the negotiations meetings in Doha on January 5.

This comes as earlier the Afghan President suggested holding talks in the country would facilitate significant progress, adding Afghans were entitled to the right to remain up to date on developments in the parleys. Meanwhile, the National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib also indicated that the following round of negotiations should be conducted in Afghanistan.

Kandahar has also expressed readiness to host the talks as the provincial governor said the province held historical significance when it came to conflict-resolution. Moreover, the Afghan send lent weight to the notion of relocating the talks to Afghanistan, to avoid foreign influence.

This is while the peace negotiations witnessed a breakthrough earlier this month as procedural rules were finalized, and both sides agreed on taking a three-week-long break from the talks.