Just a day after a Taliban-claimed attack on the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, both the U.S. and Afghanistan indicated their continued commitment to peace talks with the organization.
OnTuesday, President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai held a video conference, during which they "reaffirmed" their commitment to the promised talks. Despite the simultaneous gestures of diplomacy and the militant violence, the leaders believe talks are the best way forward. But if those talks happen, it's not clear when. Or, once they're going, precisely how the Taliban will conduct itself.
The Taliban is, essentially, trying to have it all: as the New York Times explains, their newly opened Doha office is staffed with former officials from the Taliban's rule of Afghanistan, while fighters on the ground keep up attacks on the country's infrastructure. And on Al Jazeera, Taliban spokesperson Mohammad Sohail Shaheen more or less confirmed this by saying that they would “simultaneously follow political and military options. Because there is no cease-fire now, they are attacking us, and we are attacking them.”