June 20th, 2013
01:20 AM ET

Trust low, but U.S. says talks with Taliban will go on

By CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty

The U.S. still anticipates that talks with the Taliban will take place “in the next few days” despite the announcement by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that he was backing out of security talks with both sides, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

Karzai, upset about how the Taliban portrayed themselves in opening their Doha, Qatar office, said that he was pulling out of the peace talks with the Taliban and canceling security talks with the United States.

U.S. officials say the decision by the Taliban to call themselves the “Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan” was a violation of the explicit guidelines the Qataris set for the office. The Taliban, they say, used it as a kind of slogan implying that it represented a sovereign entity in opposition to the Afghan government. Ground rules of the Doha meetings were worked out almost a year ago and the Taliban were supposed to limit themselves to simply “The Political Office of the Afghan Taliban.” Instead, they emblazoned the “emirates” name on a banner, on their office door, and used it in their public announcements.

The move caught the United States and Qataris by surprise. The Qatari government took down the sign Wednesday, the State Department says, and took steps to ensure that the political office was respecting the ground rules.

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday in her daily briefing that the United States was pleased that the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement clarifying “that the office must not be treated as or represent itself as an embassy or other office representing the Afghan Taliban as an emirate, government or sovereign.”

Trust on all sides was already low and this doesn’t help but officials also point to some positive steps, namely, that the Taliban, in their statement Tuesday, opposed the use of Afghan territory for international terrorist acts and expressed willingness to participate in peace talks.

Did Karzai overreact?  U.S. officials roll their eyes when the question is asked about the mercurial Afghan leader,  but they also point out that the Taliban move on re-naming itself was a problem for him domestically. They hope the steps taken by the Qatari government might smooth things over.

U.S. officials continue to say that this is a difficult process, with many possible bumps in the road. Even if talks are held, as expected, the fighting will continue, they caution. If all goes according to plan, the U.S. will sit down with the Taliban, followed by talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai. The Obama administration would prefer the Afghans go first but officials say the Taliban consider Karzai and his government weak and don’t want to give it any more legitimacy than they have to. Talking with the U.S. gives the Taliban more status too.

Both the U.S. and Taliban have a specific issue to discuss as well: the U.S. wants army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl back. He’s been held by the Haqqani network for four years. The Taliban want their prisoners in Guantanamo.

soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Toby Skeldon

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    March 24, 2021 at 12:22 pm | Reply
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    March 1, 2021 at 9:36 am | Reply
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    February 20, 2021 at 6:41 am | Reply

    This is somewhat good hopefully they can get Sgt. Bowe and bring him home to his family. yet none of you have left a comment here have thought to talk about the fact they are holding him captive!

    June 22, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Too bad STANDING FOR BOWE, that these right-wing, Tea Partying idiots here couldn't care less about what happens to Sgt. Bowe. All these idiots know is to yell war, war and more war as if it was some kind of sporting event like football or a hockey game!!! As for Sgt. Bowe, I say bring him home and end this stupid war now, now, now!!!

      June 23, 2013 at 3:21 am | Reply
  5. markjuliansmith

    Whoever came up with this idea in the US State Department to 'talk' to the Taliban has just managed to determine cultural relativist ethical nihilism simply is not good enough lets go one better lets talk to the Taliban.

    It just shows if you hang around an evil construct of Other for too long it becomes the 'norm' and the next step down 'It is not that hard is it?' If the US State Department had read Lord Roberts reflection on the inhabitants of Afghanistan of the 1900s they would have observed 'nothing has changed' – trying to rationalise with fanatical religious zealots is a waste of time – whatever you give them will be in time and space be used to try and destroy you.

    George Patton is an example of the other extreme excusing 'right-wing thugs' while attacking them – the so called Left-Wing has ceased being on the barricades for Freedom and now promotes the acceptance of religious genocidal texts and subjugation of women as a 'good'. Frankly Right-wing defines George Patton yet he fails to accept it is the case. We all manage to lie to ourselves every day apparently to get through but this is an art form.

    June 22, 2013 at 4:33 am | Reply
    • George Patton

      As the true George Patton here markjuliansmith, I never made any right-wing statement while posting here! Those posts came from my troll who has been trying to mimmic me here by vomiting his right-wing ignorance under my name. I call him Phunnie boy. Now, let's put it to rest, shall we?

      June 22, 2013 at 9:56 am | Reply
  6. CNNReviewer

    This is the most boring group of blogers ever to surf CNN. Y'all need to reduce your Geritol Tonic doses. Zzzzzzzzzz.

    June 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  7. Sammy.Quinton

    General George Patton was and will always be correct when he said upon the surrender of Germany, "This is where the real war begins." Unfortunately, Truman had had him assassinated for that sentiment. President Truman was a true politician. He grabbed for the glory, and left the hard work and high costs for future Americans. The wrong man died at this point in history.

    June 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Quinton

      As the saying goes, Sammy, "once a Klansman, always a Klansman". As such, few people hated the Russians more than Truman did. But Truman was a practical man who saw things as they were and not the way he wanted them to be. And finally, Gen. Patton died from a broken neck from an auto accident and he was not assassinated by anyone.

      June 21, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  8. TopView20

    This will be a great opportunity for the US to début our first public suicide bomber! "Take out the Taliban!!!!"

    June 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  9. George Patton

    carrot and stick is the best way of working with oafs.

    June 21, 2013 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • Sammy.Quinton

      NO, No, no. Nuclear explosives work best. Drone them nukes to where the tally-whackers are hiding. It's an aseptic, sterile war for those with drone superiority. Catch it on CNN live!

      June 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
      • Quinton

        Who's that defective idiot who keeps abusing Gen. Patton's name by posting his right-wing manure under it? I'm sick and tired of and CNN needs to show respect for by blocking this idiot once and for all! The real George Patton here hates war and needless bloodshed as do I!!!!!!!

        June 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  10. JBR

    Do you think the Taliban will really trust Obama????

    June 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • USMC1371

      Why would they the people that he serves don't trust him. Better question is what happened to the U.S. stance of "we will not negotiate with terrorists"?? Guess Obama caves on everything.

      June 20, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Reply
      • Tortland pony

        That stance that the U.S. says "we will not negotiate with Terrorists" is nothing but dumb, dumb and dumb! If the British took that same stance in 1994 in Northern Ireland, there still would be no peace there!

        June 21, 2013 at 8:25 am |
      • George Patton-2

        question should be asked NOT what happened to that "we will not negotiate with terrorists" !!!! but how do these genius do that.....let me answer, first they take them off the terror watch list, provide them office in some "so called" neutral country, or another crook countries like UAE, Qatar, and they negotiate with them by offering financial packages.

        June 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • Pete

        @usmc1371,I think that would benefit all partys involved to extend an olive branch of sorts and remember just who made them terrorists,mostly us with our systematic meddling in every other countrys business with Bushs,Reagan,other republican war mongers..If we spent as much time and resources here at home helping our own than in other foriegn countrys with wars,interventions and kept our citizens taken care of we wouldn't care what other countrys did...Just remember how all this started with Bushs wanting Husseins head for attempting to assasinate his father years before and the promise he made to his father getting retribution for that attempt if he became president that got us into this senseless war..And marine just what war were you involved in that made any sense in what it was created for ,please tell me ..Vietnam with lies ,Iraq with lies as well as Afghanistan a war fighting the same rebels we armed under Reagans meddling over 30 years ago with Rumsfield against Russia,remember marine I sure as hell to!!ALL FOR NOTHING and can you or anyone else tell me its for freedom,democracy or anything else because these battling countrys for centuries really don't care what you,I or anyone here thinks!!Just a war created by people to make money plain and simple at our tax payers and our kids expense...And quess what people in this country you are so gullible to fall for it everytime when its supposidly a patriotic cause, right, how wrong you are!!

        June 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • massoud

        Petard have You ever heard of operation Cyclone ? Look it up troll, the CIA under Jimmy Carter started funding the Mujahadin in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, they funded the most radial Muslims of the Mujahadin the offshoots who are the Taliban today. Zibegnew Brezinski was Carters point man for funding the Radical Muslim Extemists of the Mujahadin prior to Carter leaving office.

        June 24, 2013 at 1:32 am |
      • Pete

        @massoud,hey imbecile getting all your comments in before you turn to crap ha raghead..And how long did you take googling this little piece of info dip chit trying to make you somewhat smart so you raghead to fit in..Remember raghead Reagan with Rumsfield,Sen.Charlie Wilson did more damage selling arms,sarin gas to afghans and Kadafi,Hussein to use gas on their own people than anything Carter ever did just look into the Iran Contra deal with Reagans CIA,nobodies perfect but Reagan was extreme in lying to everyone even his family when he could...How's your americanized family going they'll get over here alright ...Remember hurry up massoud those fences get higher every year,start climbing!!

        June 25, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • RHA


      June 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Reply
    • Sammy.Quinton

      They are animals, so do not talk about trust. Trust is irrelevant. All they need to do is stand still while we punch in the coordinates. Everybody say, "Boom!"

      June 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Reply
      • George Patton

        Are they truly any worse that the right-wing thugs in Washington, Sammy? Somehow, I don't think so!!!

        June 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
  11. Towel Heads

    You can't trust Towel Heads. They've proven it many many times. This time is no different.

    June 20, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
    • George Patton

      yes you're absolutely right, you can't trust these Islamic wild animals, but the best way to deal with them is.....pamper and kick their ass at the same time, keep them always confused about our intention.

      June 21, 2013 at 10:40 am | Reply
      • Sammy.Quinton

        Georgie, you were much more aggressive in the 1940's. You do not treat terrorists in any manner at all. You annihilate all of them before the rise from their prayers. All gone!

        June 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  12. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    It's OK to lie to infidels.

    But WE would Never Ever lie to OBAMA.

    Allahue Akbar !!!

    June 20, 2013 at 7:44 am | Reply
  13. USMC1369

    Let's hope that this is true. This obscene killing needs to stop once and for all. Furthermore, we sorely need to impress upon the general public that war is not just another sporting event like football or hockey, but true bloodshed where people get killed day after day. Those who want this bloodshed to continue are truly disgusting!

    June 20, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • Amy

      Bloodshed? its obvious people and you have forgotten what the Taliban use to do and still will do once in power again, especially woman..How quickly people forget........

      June 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Reply
      • George Patton

        Tell me Amy, do you think that it's alright for those creeps who operate those ungodly drones, hurling 500 lb. bombs on defenseless people to continue doing so? I don't !!! Have a heart, will you?

        June 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  14. Bangash

    According to ground realities the monster of global terrorism has been created by the USA therefore only they can now put an end to it. Rest all parties including Taliban are the victims of US arrogance in world politics. Although USA 's misadventure has now backfired and are reaping what they have sown during last three decades in this region but despite this negotiations are the only best way to get out of this quagmire and also it is the only option. Taliban too understand this reality that more wars mean more deaths and destructions in Afghanistan and Pakistan therefore they too sincerely wish to finish this evil game. So the ball is purely in American court and depend upon their wisdom whether to continue with this march to the hell or change for the better.

    June 20, 2013 at 5:49 am | Reply
    • Ths

      Terrorism has been around for a long time. Heres a term from the past, Hashhashin. So it wasn't created by the U.S.

      June 20, 2013 at 6:15 am | Reply
      • Ths

        Terrorism is old as the history of man and is used around the world but now the term is associated with the middle east.

        June 20, 2013 at 6:41 am |
    • StanCalif

      You are correct; however, the real problem here seems to be Karsai. An American installed leader (remember free elections! Ha ha). Karsai is a criminal, nothing less! US "aid" to his country went mostly into his own pocket! His drug dealings are untouchable. He could care less about his own people!
      Karsai fears the Taliban mainly because of his opium business!

      June 20, 2013 at 7:45 am | Reply
      • Amy

        Disgusting, how old are you people!! HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN?

        June 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • Ths

        I totally forgot about the opium trade there!

        June 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Amy

      What!! "Taliban are the victims of US arrogance" are you serious?

      June 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Reply
      • George Patton

        Are you kidding, Amy? Of course the Taliban are not only victims of American arrogance, but also their ungodly weaponry like those ungodly drones and Apache helicopters, not to mention other lethal machinery!!!

        June 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • George Patton

        Amy, sorry me and my stupid cut and pate, I meant to say those drone operators are the best guys we have who keep the terrorist rats on the run.

        June 21, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  15. tax payer

    This reminds me of NAM, french run, america steps in, russia laughs, china aids, and america slowly slides out on the blood of its young

    June 20, 2013 at 5:15 am | Reply
  16. Wgf

    This will be interesting.

    June 20, 2013 at 4:56 am | Reply
    • Wgf

      I don't mean that in a good way.

      June 20, 2013 at 5:22 am | Reply
  17. brown


    The U.S.A is surrendering but wants to save face!

    June 20, 2013 at 4:02 am | Reply
    • George Patton

      Actually brown, the U.S. is not surrendering anything, but it's good to know that the right-wing thugs in Washington failed to achieve a complete victory over there. As one may well remember, we only got out of Vietnam by losing that obscene war which should never have taken place!!!

      June 20, 2013 at 11:16 am | Reply

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