The Afghan authorities have postponed the naming of a national negotiating team to talks with the Taliban movement (banned in Russia), spokesperson for the US Department of State Morgan Ortagus said a statement released on Tuesday.
"The U.S.-Taliban agreement and the U.S.-Afghanistan joint declaration signed last week identified March 10 as the start of intra-Afghan negotiations," Ortagus reminded. "While preparations for intra-Afghan negotiations are underway, the Presidential electoral crisis in Afghanistan has delayed the naming of a national negotiating team," she added. "President Ghani has told us he is consulting with Dr. Abdullah and other Afghan leaders and will announce an inclusive team in the coming few days," TASS quoted her as saying.
"Other challenges remain. The current high level of violence by the Taliban is unacceptable. We acknowledge the Taliban have taken steps to stop attacks against the Coalition and in cities," Ortahus continued. "But they are killing too many Afghans in the countryside. This must change. Violence at these levels risks drawing both sides into a vicious cycle, serves no one, and undermines peace," the spokersperson concluded.
On February 29, the United States and the Taliban movement signed a peace deal in Doha. In accordance with the peace deal, negotiations between Taliban and other Afghan sides on a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire should have started on March 10.