Taliban Pull Out of Peace Summit
Afghanistan’s Taliban, the group of Islamist extremists and insurgents fighting the nation’s government for control, announced on Monday they would not attend the regional summit scheduled for next week in Turkey, which has been coordinated for some weeks now by both the United Nations and the United States. Taliban spokesman Mohammed Naeem explained that a later date for the meeting, which is aimed at resolving the Afghan quagmire, could be a possibility. According to the deal signed by the Taliban and the former White House administration early last year, the United States must withdraw all its remaining troops from Afghanistan, some 2,500 of them, by the end of the month. In return, the Taliban and the US-backed Kabul government were supposed to hammer out a power-sharing agreement, but the negotiations held in Doha over the past year quickly fizzled out. US President Joe Biden recently said it will be “difficult” to pull all American soldiers out by May 1, and concerns have grown that violence could soon ensue if no deal is reached.