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The National Security Adviser of Afghanistan on Thursday accused U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoy in charge of peace negotiations with the Taliban of “delegitimizing” and “weakening” the Kabul government during the talks to serve his ambitions of one day running the war-ravaged country.
An official from the U.S. Department of State (DOS) — which oversees the office of U.S. reconciliation envoy Zalmay Khalilzad — denied the assertions by Hamdullah Mohib, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s national security adviser who served as ambassador to Washington.
Mr - Mohib - Comments - State - Department
“Mr. Mohib’s comments are inaccurate and unhelpful, and we will be responding to them privately,” a State Department official told the Daily Beast on condition of anonymity.
“His comments do not in any way reflect the high level of U.S.-Afghan coordination on all matters involving peace in Afghanistan,” the official added.
US - Insistence - Kabul - Talks - Conflict
Despite U.S. insistence that Kabul leads and owns the ongoing talks to end the more than 17-year-old conflict — America’s most extended — the Taliban continues to refuse to allow the Afghan government to participate.
Both sides have claimed “progress” in the wake of the longest round of U.S.-Taliban discussions to date, which ended this week. However, it appears Kabul is not happy about being left out.
Khalilzad - Mohib - Reporters - Thursday - Reason
Referring to Khalilzad, Mohib told reporters on Thursday, “The reason he is delegitimizing the Afghan government and weakening it, and at the same time elevating the Taliban can only have one approach. It’s definitely not for peace. He is not reconciling, he’s alienating.”
The top Afghan official added:
Ambassador - Khalilzad - Reasons - Deal - Peace
We think either Ambassador Khalilzad doesn’t know how to negotiate and there may be other reasons behind what he’s doing. But what he’s doing is not getting a deal that would result in peace in Afghanistan.
Knowing Ambassador Khalilzad’s own personal history, he has ambitions in Afghanistan. He wanted to run for president twice… people in government think perhaps all...
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