U.S. troops walk from a Chinook helicopter in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan July 7, 2017. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani)

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.

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Afghans clean a broken window of a destroyed house after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. A Taliban suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden vehicle in the capital Kabul on Monday evening, according to officials. (Associated Press/Rahmat Gul)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

An official of the Taliban militant group, which now reportedly controls nearly half of Afghanistan, says the militant group is not seeking to rule Afghanistan alone in any future government structure and wants to co-exist with current institutions.

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If your words of the day today were "cautious optimism," you're in luck, because Army Col. Dave Zinn, who recently returned from Afghanistan, offered exactly that to reporters on Wednesday.

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