Afghan govt threatens to boycott Qatar talks
"The latest developments show that foreign hands are behind the Taliban's Qatar office and, unless they are purely Afghan-led, the High Peace Council will not participate in talks," a statement issued by the Presidential Palace said.
The decision came at a meeting between Karzai and former jihdi leaders, political figures and the High Peace Council members, the statement said.
Karzai, who chaired the meeting, said he would not pursue peace talks with the Taliban unless the United States stepped out of the negotiations and the militant group stopped violent attacks on the ground.
He said the High Peace Council would "neither attend nor participate in the talks" until the process was "completely" in the hands of Afghans.
Earlier in the day, Karzai announced he had suspended talks with the US on a new security deal in protest of how the talks were announced. “Peace talks cannot begin amid fighting and bloodshed," Karzai said.
The participants insisted the Afghan government had been struggling over the past 10 years to make peace with the rebels in line with the country’s constitution.
“But Taliban’s threats to continue the war despite the opening of their office in Qatar show they are perusing an agenda and policy aimed at implementing the strategies of others.”
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