February 14th, 2012
08:03 AM ET

Taliban will not talk peace with Karzai government, spokesman says

(CNN) - The Taliban have met with U.S. officials to discuss possible peace talks, but do not want to negotiate with Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government, a Taliban spokesman said Tuesday.

The spokesman's comments, rejecting a key American condition, could potentially derail American efforts for Afghans to reach a negotiated end to the decade-long war.

In an e-mail response to questions from CNN, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid denied previous reports that the Taliban had been invited to meet with the Karzai government in Saudi Arabia, saying that talks with what he called a "puppet" government were pointless.

"We have never been asked to attend talks with Karzai administration officials in Saudi Arabia, but even if we are asked to attend, we won't because (the) Karzai government is a puppet and unauthorized, and meeting with them will not be beneficial in solving the issue," Mujahid wrote in a message from an e-mail account regularly used by the Taliban to issue statements.

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