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Published On: Thu, Jun 20th, 2013

US battles Afghan, Karzai over peace ‘talks’ with Taliban

Secretary of State John Kerry assured Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the government of Qatar took down a sign board under the name of “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” adding that the United States is committed to all its agreements with the Afghan government.

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Photo/donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

The Taliban office “must not be treated as or represent itself as an embassy or other office representing the Afghan Taliban, as an emirate government or sovereign,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. 

Kerry called Karzai twice in the past 24 hours to ease his anger, Psaki said.

His assurances came hours after peace talks between the United States and the Taliban were thrown into doubt Wednesday – less than 24 hours after they were announced – when Karzai angrily suspended his involvement.

In a statement, Karzai accused the U.S. of “a contradiction” over its decision to meet Taliban representatives and said Afghanistan would not take part “until the peace process is totally under Afghan control.”

Obama administration officials announced Tuesday that U.S. and Taliban representatives will meet for the first time and hold talks in the Qatari capital, Doha.

Government sources in Kabul said Karzai was unhappy over the Taliban’s decision to open an office in Doha under the name of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” – the country’s title during the Taliban regime of the 1990s – and fly its own flag outside.

The sources said the Afghan government was angry that U.S. backing for the talks would effectively endorse the Taliban’s self-appointed status.

“The Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement clarifying that the name of the office is the Political Office of the Afghan Taliban and not the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, and that it had the sign with the incorrect name in front of the door taken down,” Psaki said. 

Mirwais Yasini, deputy speaker of the Afghanistan parliament, said earlier the Taliban’s attempt to style itself as representing the country in peace talks was “undermining the whole government.”

“It is as if they are setting up their own government,” Yasini said. “Whatever we have achieved in the past 12 years means nothing. This will pave the road to another huge rift between the government and the Taliban.”

Fazal Rahman Orya, a spokesman for the opposition National Coalition of Afghanistan, said the Taliban should not have used the word “emirate” because “this is a problem for Afghan government, for the U.S. and for the Taliban.”

The Taliban has not confirmed the date for the Doha negotiations and there was no immediate word if the talks would be affected by the Afghan government’s objections.

“Because we’re working with the Afghans on what the next appropriate step is, there isn’t a meeting,” Psaki said regarding the United States’ planned talks with the Taliban. “I know there were reports of it, but reports of a meeting being scheduled or on the books aren’t accurate.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    I THINK MOST AMERICANS WOULD AGREE WITH ME THAT THIS SITUATION IS DIFFICULT FOR NON-ARABS TO UNDERSTAND. IT SEEMS THERE IS A DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE WORDS, “Afghan” AND “Taliban;” BUT, I AM QUITE SURE MOST AMERICANS WOULD SAY THE MEDIA MONIKERED THAT CONFLICT AS THE “War in Afghanistan.” SO, FOR MOST AMERICANS THAT MEANS ALL THINGS “AFGHAN” ARE TERRORISTICALLY EVIL.

    AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED THE MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCE IN THIS ARTICLE IS, ” … Karzai accused the U.S. of [‘]a contradiction[‘] … and said Afghanistan would not take part [‘]until the peace process is totally under Afghan control[‘].” President Hamid Karzai’s USE OF THE WORD “contradiction” SEEMS TO BE A REPEAT OF HIS CHARGE THAT THE KENYAN’S COMMITTMENT TO ENDING TERROR IS UNCLEAR. BY SAYING HE WANTS THE PEACE PROCESS “totally under Afghan control,” SCREAMS President Karzai ONLY TRUSTS ARABS TO HANDLE THE SITUATION – NOT, AMERICANS. SO, WHY IS UNITED STATES “BUTTING-IN?” IT IS BECOMING CLEAR President Karzai KNOWS THE KENYAN’S LOYALTY LIES WITH ISLAM; AND, HE IS “CALLING-THE-KENYAN-OUT.”

    Mirwais Yasini STATED, “Whatever we have achieved in the past 12 years means nothing.” “[A]chieved” ACCORDING TO WHOM? ….. “means nothing” ACCORDING TO WHOM?

    AS AMERICANS, WE DO NOT KNOW “who wants what” IN THIS SITUATION; THAT IS WHY IT IS GLARINGLY OBVIOUS UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS IN THE WAY.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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