They said the escalating talks were tantamount to a “back-door deal” between Washington and the terror group at the expense of an elected government in Kabul.
The harsh rhetoric from Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib and Amrullah Saleh, the country’s former interior minister, came as U.S. diplomats and senior Taliban leaders have just concluded the longest face-to-face talks on a peace deal in Doha, Qatar, talks from which the Afghan government has been excluded.
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said the two sides have agreed to a draft timeline for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from the country.
In response, the Taliban have agreed to cut all ties with groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State, Mr. Khalilzad announced on social media Tuesday.
But Mr. Mohib told a U.N. Security Council meeting Monday that the peace process could not work if were just a “deal made between elites.”
“If peace is going to belong to and be maintained by Afghans, it must ultimately be owned by Afghans themselves,” he said, repeating his concerns at a Hudson Institute briefing in Washington on Wednesday.
The White House has reportedly proposed a total U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2022 or 2024.