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Pentagon asked for funds to reimburse Taliban expenses: report

Earlier this year, the US Department of Defense asked the House Appropriations subcommittee on Defense for funds to cover the costs of transportation, lodging, food and supplies for Taliban members during  peace negotiations with US government representatives. The latest round of negotiations, the 6th in total, ended last week.

The highly unusual request was denied by the subcommittee, which on Wednesday approved a new budget. The spending bill states that “[n]one of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay the expenses of any member of the Taliban to participate in any meeting that does not include the participation of members of the Government of Afghanistan or that restricts the participation of women.”

The request strikes many analysts as absurd, because the Taliban continue to carry out attacks against US targets in Afghanistan and because the group has more than enough financial resources to fund its participation in peace negotiations, as well as its ongoing attack campaigns.

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