Hamid Karzai is Feeling Left Out of the Taliban Talks

Karzai Gets Left Out of Taliban Talks

The United States recently announced that they would officially meet with the Taliban for the first time in Qatar, where the militants have a new overseas office.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai felt left out of the U.S.’s big plan to orchestrate peace talks with Afghanistan and the Taliban. So now, less than 24 hours after the plan was announced, Karzai has angrily decided to boycott the talks with the Taliban unless the process is “Afghan-led”.

Not only is Karzai mad about being left out of the peace process, he’s pretty pissed that the Taliban have a new office is Qatar. Originally he thought the office would be only an “address” for the Taliban in a neutral place but the Taliban are thinking it’s more along the lines of an embassy for a shadow government. He also didn’t approve of the Taliban’s use of its formal name “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” when opening the Doha office. Add in the fact that the U.S is bypassing him and meeting with the Taliban directly and that makes for one angry Karzai.

Initially Karzai called off the talks in a fit of rage but then cooled off a bit and said the Afghan government may participate in the talks but only if the Taliban lowered the office’s profile and the peace process was led by Afghan officials.

“The way the Taliban office was opened in Qatar and the messages which were sent from it was in absolute contrast with all the guarantees that the United States of America had pledged,” said the statement from President Karzai’s office.

“Recent developments showed that there are foreign hands behind the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar. Unless the peace process is led by Afghans, the High Peace Council will not participate in the Qatar negotiations.”

On their end, the Taliban probably don’t really care if Karzai is involved. For years the Taliban have refused to speak to the Afghan government because they consider them to be American “puppets.” They are much more interested in direct talks with American and other Western officials.

But don’t think the U.S and the Taliban are buddy-buddy just yet. Hours after the Taliban talks were announced, four U.S soldiers were killed in an insurgent attack at Bagram air base – courtesy of the Taliban. The U.S. and Taliban announced they will begin the preliminary peace talks in Qatar without the Afghan government but from the looks of it, it’s going to be pretty messy…

Via: The New York Times

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