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Talks with Taliban are making ‘very little progress’ as militant group gains momentum, says Afghan official

Abdullah Abdullah, a leading Afghan official that heads the High Council for National Reconciliation has reported that talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have made little progress. Abdullah stated that the Taliban has gained momentum following weeks of US troop withdrawal. In the past few weeks, the Taliban have released propaganda videos from military bases claiming that Afghan forces had fled and they have been successful at capturing a portion of land in the northern region of the country. The Taliban has accused the Afghan government of not engaging with intra-Afghan peace talks in Doha, stating that their intention was to make progress yet they were met with disinterest.

Taliban political office spokesman Mohammad Naeem stated that the Afghan government’s negotiating team was incomplete during the May peace talks. The remarks were given in a video statement released yesterday by the Taliban on the intra-Afghan negotiations. Abdullah did not directly blame the Taliban’s gains on the upcoming US withdrawal, he did state that the move would not have been Afghanistan’s primary choice. Abdullah stated that the Taliban will never be able to overthrow the Afghan government, however, he stated that there was no guarantee that the country would not become a safe haven for terrorists again.

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