Taliban: We will not work with the United States to contain ISIS

The Taliban on Saturday ruled out cooperation with the United States to contain extremist groups in Afghanistan and have taken a hard line on an important issue in light of the first direct talks between the two former enemies since America withdrew from the country last August.

Senior Taliban officials and US representatives will meet on Saturday and Sunday in the Qatari capital, Doha. Officials on both sides said issues include the control of extremist groups and the evacuation of foreign and Afghan nationals from the country. The Taliban showed flexibility regarding evacuations.

Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen told The Associated Press today that there will be no cooperation with Washington in prosecuting the ISIS branch in Afghanistan.

In response to a question about whether the Taliban will work with the United States to contain ISIS, Shaheen said: “We are in able to deal with ISIS in independently. ”

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks, including a suicide bombing that killed 46 people and injured dozens as they prayed in a mosque yesterday in Kunduz.

ISIS has carried out several deadly attacks since its appearance in eastern Afghanistan in 2014. The extremist organization is also seen as the greatest threat to the United States.

The weekend meetings in Doha are the first since US forces withdrew from Afghanistan in late August, ending a 20-year military presence and the rise to power of the Taliban in the country. The United States has made it clear that the talks are not a prelude to recognizing the movement.

The talks follow two days of difficult discussions between Pakistani officials and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Islamabad.

Afghanistan was also at the center of those talks. Pakistani officials urged the US to reach out to the new rulers of Afghanistan and release billions of dollars in international funds to avoid economic collapse in Afghanistan.

Pakistan also sent a letter to the Taliban, urging them to become more inclusive and pay attention to human rights and ethnic and religious minorities.

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