Taliban shun Afghanistan talks until foreign forces go

Taliban shun Afghanistan talks until foreign forces go
The militants declared their stance on talks in Turkey after it emerged that Washington would withdraw its forces five months later than previously agreed in a deal with the Taliban.
2 min read
Turkey is hosting a peace conference on Afghanistan from April 24 to May 4 [Getty]

The Taliban said on Tuesday they will not attend a summit on Afghanistan's future in Turkey this month until all foreign forces leave their country.

"Until all foreign forces completely withdraw from our homeland, (we) will not participate in any conference that shall make decisions about Afghanistan," tweeted Mohammad Naeem, spokesman for the Taliban office in Qatar.

His intervention came just hours after it emerged that the US would withdraw its forces from Afghanistan around five months later than Washington had originally agreed with the insurgents.

US officials said President Joe Biden will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan before this year's 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

The drawdown, finally ending America's longest war despite mounting fears of a Taliban victory, delays by around five months an agreement with the Taliban inked by former president Donald Trump to pull troops.

Read more: Biden extends deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by 9/11 anniversary

There is a growing consensus in Washington that little more can be achieved in the conflict-torn nation.

The decision came as Turkey announced an international peace conference on Afghanistan that the hosts hope could pave the way to a power-sharing arrangement.

The conference, due to be held in Istanbul from April 24 to May 4, will seek to revive long-stalled peace talks that are being hosted in the Qatari capital Doha.

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