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U.S.-Afghan tensions erupt over Kabul's exclusion from peace talks

March 15, 2019 / Jonathan Landay

The United States and Afghanistan clashed publicly on Thursday over U.S. peace talks with the Taliban, with a visiting Afghan official accusing the chief U.S. negotiator of “delegitimizing” the Kabul government by excluding it from the deliberations. The remarks by Hamdullah Mohib, a former ambassador to Washington who serves as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s national security adviser, drew a blistering rebuke from the State Department, which said they impeded U.S.-Afghan ties and the peace process. The feud thrust into the open tensions that have been building between the allies over U.S. efforts to forge a peace pact with the Taliban paving the way for a U.S. troop withdrawal that Kabul fears could weaken its own negotiating position.