Taliban won't work with U.S. to rein in extremist groups
The Taliban said on Saturday it will not work with the U.S. to contain extremist groups in Afghanistan, AP reports.
Why it matters: The remarks come as a U.S. delegation meets on Saturday and Sunday with senior Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar.
- This is the first in-person meeting at a senior level since the Taliban reclaimed Afghanistan, and reining in extremist groups will be a key issue on the table.
Driving the news: Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen told AP that there would be no cooperation with the U.S. in quelling the increasingly active Islamic State group affiliate in Afghanistan, per AP.
- "We are able to tackle Daesh independently," Shaheen said, using another term for ISIS.
- The Islamic State is increasingly active in Afghanistan, and on Friday, a suicide bombing inside a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan killed more than 45. ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the blast.
The big picture: In the Feb. 29, 2020 agreement signed between the U.S. and Taliban, the insurgents agreed to prevent terror groups from filling the void as the U.S. began a full withdrawal.
- Ahead of the meetings over the weekend in Qatar, a spokesperson for the State Department told Axios that the U.S. intended to push the leaders to honor their commitment not to let al-Qaeda or other extremists "use Afghan soil to threaten the security of the United States or its allies."
- The U.S. delegation will include officials from the government's intelligence community, State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.