Taliban Says They Won't Work With U.S. to Contain Extremists
Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen told the Associated Press that they do not intend to work with the U.S. and will do so independently.
Photo by Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua via Getty Images
The Taliban has ruled out working with the United States to contain extremist groups in Afghanistan, setting the position just before officials meet with U.S. reps on Saturday and Sunday in Doha, Qatar.
Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen told the Associated Press that they do not intend on cooperating with the U.S. on containing the Islamic State group, and that the Taliban intends to deal with them independently.
“We are able to tackle Daesh independently,” Shaheen said.
This weekend’s talks between the Taliban and U.S. come as the first since the U.S. evacuated Afghanistan in August. But, according to the AP, the U.S. still says the conversations don’t mean the it will be recognizing the Taliban. The two groups are expected to talk about terrorism, as well as evacuating more Afghan allies and Americans.
This comes after an attack Friday, when IS took responsibility for a suicide bombing in a Kunduz mosque that killed 46 Shia Muslims and wounded dozens.
“I saw more than 40 dead bodies lying around,” said a 60-year-old witness. “There was blood everywhere. In every family, one or two people were either injured or killed.”
Expected to be at the meeting are Tom West, deputy special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation with the State Department, and Sarah Charles, assistant to the administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, according to Reuters.