US Reiterates No Talks in Pakistan With Taliban On February 18

US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo participates in a press conference with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 9, 2018

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Washington, DC – On the eve of the declared day of talks by Taliban for an Afghanistan peace process, the United States reiterated to IAT that there was no official invitation received, nor did the US have intentions to negotiate in public.

Responding to a query from IAT, a State Department official said, “While we have noted the Taliban’s public announcement, we have not received a formal invitation to any talks.”

The meeting was first announced by Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid in a statement, setting February 18 as the date of the talks. The statement had cited the Pakistan government as issuing the invite and the Taliban delegation was scheduled to meet the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Negating the receipt of the invite, a State Department official told IAT today (Feb.17), “The United States supports all steps that would lead to a genuine intra-Afghan dialogue that includes the Afghan government, the Taliban, and other Afghans and encourages all countries to support this peace process.”

Moreover, the US government does not pursue any diplomatic and other negotiations in public, the official stressed saying, “We are not going to negotiate in public. This is the beginning of a long process which we continue to work through private diplomatic channels.”

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