Can Pakistan's Imran Khan broker talks between Taliban and Afghan government?

Iranian officials said there will be no talks with the US as long as sanctions are in place

Iranian officials said there will be no talks with the US as long as sanctions are in place

Shamkhani's comments came days after reports of talks between US and Taliban officials over proposals for a ceasefire in Afghanistan and a future withdrawal of foreign troops ahead of possible peace negotiations.

A Taliban representative in Afghanistan had told Reuters early on January 8 that the talks would begin in Qatar's capital, Doha, on January 9.

Daudzai's comments coincide with Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah saying the Taliban's refusal to involve the government in peace talks means the end to a conflict that has lasted 17 years can only remain a dream.

"We discussed Chabahar only with President Ghani during our meeting on security in Afghanistan", the source said.

Turkey has said it will host leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Taliban also called off a meeting with US officials in Saudi Arabia earlier this week because of Riyadh's insistence on bringing the Western-backed Afghan government to the negotiating table.

Mr Khalilzad still intends to visit the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and China to continue the discussions, the Taliban said, but his office was not available to confirm the details.

When asked if his government was in touch with the Taliban, he said, "Indirectly".

Muslim youth group cleans up national parks while government remains shut down
The Shenandoah National Park Trust is providing emergency funding to clean port-a-potties twice a week at the park. More than 400 parks and monuments across the US are affected by the partial shutdown of the federal government.

Pakistani officials say Afghanistan will need foreign economic aid for years, even after any peace agreement has been signed, and have also been trying to push the Taliban to accept talks with Kabul. But we also believe that the Taliban do not have, should not have, a dominant role in Afghanistan.

As peace talks gained momentum a draft agreement drawn up by the influential U.S. think tank RAND Corporation outlining the clauses for a potential peace deal was circulated among Afghan officials and diplomats in Kabul. It adds that the United States may continue providing civilian assistance and seek contributions from other donors.

He said that a peace process in which the rights of the citizens of Afghanistan are sacrificed has no credibility and that no one maintains the right to change the name of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The insurgents, seeking to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ouster by US-led troops, called off a meeting with United States officials in Saudi Arabia this week because of Riyadh's insistence on bringing the Western-backed Afghan government to the table.

Sources close to the Taliban leadership revealed to Al Arabiya English that Taliban may back off from peace talks if both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia insist on including Afghanistan government.

Western diplomats based in Kabul said Pakistan's cooperation in the peace process will be crucial to its success. United States officials have accused Pakistan of providing safe haven to Taliban militants in its border regions and using them as an arm of its foreign policy. He has urged India to go beyond its existing role in supporting infrastructure development in the war-torn country, preferably by sending troops to improve the security situation in Afghanistan. Pakistan denies the claim. It has cost Washington almost $1 trillion and killed tens of thousands of people.

The war was waged by an worldwide coalition led by the United States in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks. "I don't think it has great impact because we have now fully developed the Afghan National Security Forces that is between 350, 000 to 400, 000 [troops]", he said.

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