Taliban talks in Pakistan 'postponed'

Taliban talks in Pakistan 'postponed'

A delegation of the Afghan Taliban, which was scheduled to arrive in Islamabad today (Monday), has postponed its visit owing to travel restrictions.

The talks between U.S. and Afghan Taliban slated for Monday have been postponed, according to the insurgent group which alleged that some members of its negotiating team could not travel to Pakistan for the meeting due to sanctions imposed by America and the UN.

Talks between US negotiators and Taliban members in Islamabad which were supposed to be held on Monday have been postponed, Afganistan's Tolo news reported, citing a statement Taliban acknowledged on Sunday.

The group rejected the reports which say the talks were postponed by the Taliban, Tolo added.

He went on to explain that the USA delegation had discussions on four issues during the past meetings with the Taliban representatives, including circumstances surrounding the relations of Taliban with Al-Qaeda network, presence of US forces, direct negotiations between Taliban and Afghan government, and an overall ceasefire.

The militant group called off a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, scheduled on Monday, citing the inability to travel due to a United Nations blacklist of their members.

This comes after reports said that Taliban would hold talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad. In a letter to the Security Council, the Afghan UN mission wrote that the Taliban-Pakistan meeting "constitutes a violation of the national sovereignty of Afghanistan".

US President Donald Trump reportedly wants to cut in half the 14,000 American troops in Afghanistan, and the Taliban leaders have made a US withdrawal a key condition in peace negotiations.

Other reasons for the cancellation include internal disagreements over the issue among the Taliban, who were divided over how close they wanted to be seen to Pakistan during peace negotiations, according to insurgent leaders who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

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