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Taliban 'compelled' to end U.S. talks

The Taliban in Afghanistan announced they suspended dialogue with U.S. officials through its political liaison office inaugurated in Qatar in January. UPI/Michael O'Conner/USAF
The Taliban in Afghanistan announced they suspended dialogue with U.S. officials through its political liaison office inaugurated in Qatar in January. UPI/Michael O'Conner/USAF | License Photo

KABUL, Afghanistan, March 15 (UPI) -- The Taliban in Afghanistan announced they suspended dialogue with U.S. officials through its political liaison office inaugurated in Qatar in January.

All parties involved in the reconciliation process in Afghanistan have welcomed the Taliban to the negotiating table so long as they denounce violence and honor the spirit of Afghan law. The Taliban had said they wouldn't have formal talks, however, while foreign troops are on Afghan soil.

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The Taliban, in a statement, said the "alternating and ever-changing position" from the United States "compelled" it to end the dialogue.

"We must categorically state that the real source of obstacle in talks was the shaky, erratic and vague standpoint of the Americans therefore all the responsibility for the halt also falls on their shoulders," the statement read.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told CNN in February his members met with U.S. officials in Qatar to discuss confidence building measures in Afghanistan. The group denied reports it had spoke directly with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The movement, in its statement, said the aim of the Qatari office was to engage the international community "away from any danger."

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The statement made no reference to the weekend shooting of 16 civilians in Kandahar province, allegedly by a U.S. Army sergeant, and the burning of Islamic religious materials at a U.S. base in February.

Despite recent tensions, military officials and Western government leaders said there was no change expected for the mission in Afghanistan.

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