İrem GÖL -TDO- The Taliban refused to begin talks with the Afghan government’s new negotiating team, in a setback to the US-brokered peace process for one of the world’s longest-running conflicts. Spokesman Zbihullah Mujahid said the militants could not talk to the team as it had not been constituted taking all parties into account. Mujahid said: “In order to reach true and lasting peace, the aforementioned team must be agreed upon by all effective Afghan sides so that it can represent all sides.”
The spokeswoman for the Afghan ministry for peace affairs, Najia Anwari, said the Taliban’s stance was unjustified, as the negotiating team had been appointed after wide consultations among Afghan society. US secretary of state Mike Pompeo failed to mediate between Abdullah and Ghana to create en inclusive government during a visit to Kabul on Monday, and announced a $1bn cut in US aid to Afghanistan, which he said could be reversed.