Despite earlier statements by the Afghan Taliban this year on negotiations for a peace agreement to end the protracted conflict:on the right trackThe militant group abruptly canceled a scheduled meeting with US officials in Qatar this week on an "apparent disagreement".
The points of contention seems to talk to me about a lot more than just talking points, though. The Taliban do not want representatives of the "puppets" of the existing Afghan government to be present, but prefer to speak directly to US officials. But there is also frustration with the United States, which would release only 3,000 of the 25,000 Taliban prisoners the group wants to release.
The United States has a different position. "The Taliban should talk to their Afghan compatriots as much as the media," tweeted the US ambassador to Kabul, John Bass, in response to the cancellation.
US political and intelligence analysts were mostly "not surprised" by the brutal rebuff of Taliban leaders as part of their bargaining strategy.
"This is to be expected.The Taliban will try to negotiate hard, given the realities of the battle space and the fact that the Trump administration needs an agreement this year." I suspect that communications in back will allow the resumption of discussions at the public level, "said Kamran Bokhari, geopolitics specialist from the Middle East at the Institute of Professional Development of the University of Ottawa. Cancellation of meetings is an integral part of the negotiation process. "
Bokhari warned that the talks, although supported by both the state department and Afghan leaders, may not "produce a result that is in the US interest." the US Special Representative for Reconciliation in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad. The latest edition was held in Abu Dhabi in mid-December, in the presence of representatives from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates hosts.
Khalizad embarked on a two-week diplomatic tour to further promote and develop the talks. It is planned to visit Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and India.
A Taliban office was created for the first time in Doha, Qatar's capital, in 2013 at the request of the United States, to facilitate the talks. But the office was closed after the group violated the terms of the agreement by presenting the same flag that the group used during his reign in Afghanistan.
The Taliban describe the United States' commitment to the country – the longest running war in US history – of "illegitimate" occupation by foreign forces. And despite the persistent disavowal of the Afghan government and the refusal to involve them in the negotiations, some experts insist that it is only in their best interest.
Although most media have focused on the idea that the Taliban control Afghanistan more than the government in a "dead end", the areas under military control are mostly rural and are neither transport hubs nor big cities. .
"The Taliban realize that it is in their interest to speak. But arguing with an opponent like this is a process and not an event. It could take a very long time and there will be ups and downs, "said Luke Coffey, policy expert at the Heritage Foundation. "In the end, it might not succeed. But the good thing to do is to try.