The Christian Science Monitor

Afghanistan: Taliban and government talk, but fighting feeds distrust

At the negotiating table, days into landmark intra-Afghan talks to end decades of war, platitudes about the need for peace are interwoven with haggling over procedure.

But perhaps more tellingly, on Afghanistan’s weary battlefields, the killing continues, as if negotiation teams from the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents were not now meeting in Doha, Qatar.

On Thursday, the government in Kabul said at least 27 security personnel and 36 Taliban fighters had been killed in conflict across five provinces in the previous 24 hours.

One result of the continued violence is that a substantial trust deficit has grown even deeper, as each side seeks to delegitimize the other and maximize its gains in any new power-sharing arrangement, which could take months or even years to negotiate.

Even as talks began Sept. 12 – when a government call for

At stake: Regime changeU.S. withdrawal“Now it’s the Taliban’s turn”Afghan womenStonewalling on prisoners

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