The U.S. State Department on Thursday said it has not scheduled talks with the Taliban after reports that discussions with the Afghan rebel group could begin this week in Qatar.
“Because we’re working with the Afghans on what the next appropriate step is, there isn’t a meeting. I know there were reports of it, but reports of a meeting being scheduled or on the books aren’t accurate”, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.
“If there’s a role for the U.S. to play in that, that’s up to the Afghans to decide. We are in coordination and in discussion with the Afghans and the High Peace Council about how to move forward”, Ms. Psaki said.
“There were reports yesterday of one being scheduled on Thursday, which we didn’t confirm from here. We are continuing to work on the process”, she said.
“There is broad agreement that that is the right process. I think there’s been some confusion about the different components of this”, she added.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai broke off crucial security talks with the United States on Wednesday, angry about the name given to a new Taliban office in Qatar that is meant to facilitate peace negotiations.