Al-Qaeda leader maintains ‘close’ ties with Taliban: UN Official

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Kabul: (Raja Furqan Ahmed) A senior United Nations official has said that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has maintained close ties with the Taliban despite the Taliban’s assurance to the United States to cut ties with the group. The coordinator of the UN monitoring team for Daesh, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Edmund Fitton-Brown, stated: “Senior figures remain in Afghanistan, as well as hundreds of armed operatives.” According to the UN official, the Taliban consulted on regular basis with Al-Qaeda during the peace negotiations with the US. “[Al-Qaida leader] Ayman al-Zawahiri remains close to the Taliban, The Taliban regularly consulted with al-Qaida during the negotiations with the United States and they offered informal guarantees that would honour their historic ties with al-Qaeda.”
However, the Taliban rejected the claims, saying certain intelligence groups are trying to disrupt peace in Afghanistan.
Under the US-Taliban peace agreement which was signed in Doha on February 29, the Taliban group committed to halting all kinds of ties with terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda.

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