Top Afghan security officials maintain back-channel discussions with Taliban, the Associated Press has learned.
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Despite U.S. support, the Afghan government's surprising new peace offer to the Taliban is immediately running into a wall.Laurel Miller, who until last June was a senior U.S. diplomat for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said the U.S. should be clearer about what it's willing to negotiate on, including when it might start pulling forces from Afghanistan.Top Afghan security officials maintain back-channel discussions with Taliban, the Associated Press has learned, but the officials' efforts are not coordinated and more formal talks are impeded by the Taliban's insistence that its "Islamic Emirate," ousted in a U.S.-led invasion in 2001 for hosting Al-Qaeda, remains Afghanistan's legitimate government.Since August, when Trump recommitted America to an indefinite military presence in the country, the U.S. has sent in thousands of additional forces to train Afghans, bringing the total U.S. troop figure to more than 14,000 .U.S. officials have conveyed messages to Taliban political representatives in Qatar, urging the group to join talks with the Afghan government.
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