Taliban leader doubts US sincerity on Afghan peace deal

Taliban leader doubts US sincerity on Afghan peace deal
The comments come as progress was reported on talks between the Taliban and US.
2 min read
08 August, 2019
The Taliban have said they are unsure about US intentions [Getty]
The Taliban said on Thursday they doubt the US' commitment towards a peace deal in Afghanistan, as violence continues to plague the country despite peace talks between the two sides.

"The increasing blind and brutal bombings by America during the negotiation process, attacks on civilian areas and the contradictory statements by your military and political officials has generated a cloud of uncertainty about this process and raised doubts about your intentions," said Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada in a message to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival, according to Reuters.

"Bilateral trust is the foundation of a successful negotiations process therefore it is imperative that such negative actions are ceased."

He also said that the Taliban had taken "incredible strides" to "ending the [American] occupation and establishing an Islamic system", one of the movement's main demands in ending the war with the US.

Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada said the Taliban had engaged in talks with the Taliban with "utmost seriousness" to end the "18-year tragedy", referring to the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan by the US.

Talks have been held in Qatar between the US and Taliban, in a bid to end the bloody conflict and allow for an American troop withdrawal. The US wants the Taliban to pledge to not allow "terrorist groups" to use Afghanistan as a safe haven.

There are differences on whether the Taliban will hold direct talks with the Afghan government, another key US demand in negotiations.

Fighting has raged between the two sides with 1,500 people killed or injured in the country in July, despite the ongoing talks.

On Friday, the Taliban detonated a massive bomb outside a police station in Kabul, killing 15 people and injuring over 100.