Tuesday 16 January 2018 - 12:07

Afghan Govt. Denies Holding Informal Talks with Taliban in Turkey

Story Code : 697462
Afghan Govt. Denies Holding Informal Talks with Taliban in Turkey
A Presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi said the individuals who have participated in the talks with the Taliban members in Turkey are not representing the government of Afghanistan.
This comes as reports emerged earlier suggesting that the Afghan government officials are busy meeting the Taliban group members in Turkey.
According to reports, a number of the presidential advisors have also taken part in the meeting which has been organized with the initiative of the government of Turkey.
Another Afghan official Humayoun Jarir who represents the Afghan high peace council in the meeting said informal talks are underway with the Taliban group under an initiative of the government of Turkey to start reconciliation process.
He expressed optimisms regarding the launch of the informal talks and said the Taliban group also supports intra-Afghan talks in a bid to end the ongoing violence in the country.
However, the Taliban group rejects that any of its representatives have participated in the meeting in Turkey.
Zabiullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, said in an online statement that "reports about delegation of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan participating at talks in Turkey are baseless."
The Taliban militants use the name of Islamic Emirate they had used during their rule (1996-2001).
"We have neither sent any delegation nor can any participant represent the Islamic Emirate. Such fake processes are the work of intelligence and hostile acts against the ongoing Jihad," he said in the statement.
On Saturday, local Afghan media reported that an intra-Afghan peace dialogue was taking place in Istanbul, Turkey to find a negotiated end to the decades-long conflict in Afghanistan.
The reports said the meeting was arranged in cooperation with the Turkish government.
In 2010, Afghan government initiated peace and reconciliation process with the terrorist group but the Taliban leaders have frequently rejected the offer.
The first ever unofficial direct talks between the representatives of Afghan government and the Taliban were held in Pakistan in July 2015, but the process was scuttled after confirmation of the death of Taliban former leader Mullah Omar.