Afghan Peace Talks Collapse Day After They’re Announced


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President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on Wednesday threatened to boycott the peace talks with the Taliban that the United States announced just one day earlier. (See “19-Jun-13 World View — Taliban prepare for return of ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan'”)

Karzai is complaining that the United States betrayed him, by allowing the Taliban to open an office in Doha, Qatar, and talk about the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” which was the name of the country when the Taliban ruled it prior to 9/11/01. The Taliban press conference portrayed the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan, leaving Karzai’s government out in the cold. So Karzai said that the peace talks had to be “Afghan-led,” presumably referring to his own government:

“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. The opening of Taliban office in Qatar, the way it was opened and messages it contained, contradicts the guarantees given by the US to Afghanistan.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry rushed to talk to Karzai, to try to convince him to change his mind. At the end of the day, Wednesday, nothing had been resolved.



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