Afghan Government Suspends Peace Talks With U.S.

Karzai cites contradiction between U.S. statements and acts amid negotiations for post-2014 force.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, left, shakes hands with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at a military academy on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, June 18, 2013. The Afghan government stalled the peace process with the U.S. on Wednesday.
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The Afghan government stalled the peace process with the U.S. on Wednesday, citing what it says is an American contradiction between what it says and what it does.

A statement from the Afghan National Security Council appeared on the website of President Hamid Karzai confirming the government of Afghanistan would suspend the ongoing talks in Kabul over the Bilateral Security Agreement. This agreement will define the post-2014 coalition presence in Afghanistan after the U.S. withdraws all combat troops.

[READ: Afghans Take on Country's Security While U.S. Takes Down Bases]

The news comes less than a day after the U.S. confirmed it would begin peace talks with the Taliban later this week in Doha, Qatar.

"In view of the contradiction between acts and the statements made by the United States of America in regard to the Peace Process, the Afghan government suspended the negotiations," according to the statement. It did not provide details for this decision.

A senior White House official said Tuesday that the Taliban had confirmed it will participate in the peace process and denounced the use of Afghanistan as a base for international terrorist operations. The level of trust between Afghans and Taliban fighters is "extremely low, as one would expect," the official said.

[BROWSE: Political Cartoons on Afghanistan]

"It's going to be a slow process to get that dialogue, that intra-Afghan dialogue moving," the official said. "The talks are largely going to be paced by the success or failure in that dialogue, and so I wouldn't be looking for early results."

Peace talks between the Taliban and the U.S. are predicated on the fighters agreeing to accept the Afghan constitution, including protections for women and minorities, and agreeing to negotiate directly with the Afghan government.


The Taliban on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a rocket attack at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan that killed four Americans.

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