Taliban say they won’t work with US to contain extremism in Afghanistan

The Taliban said on Saturday they will not work with the U.S. to contain extremism in Afghanistan.

Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen told The Associated Press the group will independently deal with extremist groups such as the Islamic State.

“We are able to tackle Daesh independently,” Shaheen said, using an Arabic acronym for the group. 

The position comes ahead of talks between senior Taliban officials and U.S. officials in Doha, Qatar.

These are the first direct talks the two groups will have since the U.S. evacuated Afghanistan in August, with the U.S. saying the talks are not a sign the Taliban will be recognized by the U.S, according to the AP.

Terrorism has already become an issue for the Taliban, as the group known as Islamic State Khorasan recently claimed a suicide bomber attack on a mosque that killed more than 40 people. 

The meetings in Qatar will take place on Saturday and Sunday, and the officials are expected to discuss terrorism and evacuations of more Americans and Afghan allies. 

Two senior administration officials told Reuters that Tom West, deputy special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation with the State Department, and Sarah Charles, assistant to the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, are two of the individuals expected to be at the meetings.

Tags Afghanistan Islamic State negotiations Taliban Terrorism

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