The Taliban have rejected Kabul’s offer of talks next month in Saudi Arabia where the militants, fighting to restore strict Islamic law in Afghanistan, will meet U.S. officials to further peace efforts, a Taliban leader told Reuters on Sunday.
The Taliban have refused to hold formal talks with the Western-backed Afghan Government.
Representatives from the Taliban, the United States and regional countries met this month in the United Arab Emirates for talks to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.
“We will meet the U.S. officials in Saudi Arabia in January next year and we will start our talks that remained incomplete in Abu Dhabi,” a member of the Taliban’s decision-making Leadership Council told Reuters. “However, we have made it clear to all the stakeholders that we will not talk to the Afghan government.”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also said the leaders of the group would not talk to the Afghan government.
The militants have insisted on first reaching an agreement with the United States, which the group sees as the main force in Afghanistan since U.
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S.-led forces toppled the Taliban government in 2001.