Friday, 22 February, 2019

Taliban Insists On Foreign-Troop Withdrawal At Moscow Talks

Afghan security personnel patrol in the city of Ghazni province west of Kabul Afghanistan. A Taliban assault on Ghazni a key city linking areas of Taliban influence barely 75 miles from Kabul has killed about 100 Afghan policemen Afghan Security Forces to Reject Transient Peace Deal With Taliban- President
Leonard Rios | 09 February, 2019, 03:35

The two-day summit is now underway in the Russian capital - without Afghan government representation.

USA officials say any withdrawal is contingent on a ceasefire - something the Taliban insists on happening first - and that the movement must be prepared to enter talks with the Afghan government to help create a durable peace.

"We are exchanging our views".

On Tuesday, Taliban chief peace negotiator Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said the current Afghanistan " s constitution was not "valid" and they wanted an Islamic constitution and "an inclusive Islamic government system'.

Earlier, the Taliban hailed two days of unprecedented talks with Afghan politicians as very successful despite disagreements over women's rights and their demands for an Islamic constitution.

But the US -backed government in Kabul was not invited to the conference because the Taliban have persistently refused to engage in any talks with Kabul until all foreign forces leave Afghanistan.

No government official was invited, despite Ghani's offers to talk peace, underscoring the Taliban's hostility toward the increasingly marginalised Kabul administration. Where is their executive power? He has held several meetings with the Taliban.

In addition to a Taliban delegation, it was also attended by former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, as well as other high-profile opposition figures.

Speaking at a gathering with senior Afghan politicians, the Taliban representative stressed the withdrawal of USA troops from Afghanistan.

Among those who participated in the talks included Karzai, presidential candidate Hanif Atmar, former Balkh governor Ata Mohammad Noor, leader of Hezb e Wahdat Mohammad Mohaqeq, besides others.

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India's support for an "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled" peace process is a longstanding one even as it has been trying to engage with a range of stakeholders in Afghanistan, including the Taliban in recent times.

Taliban's Hanafi said Washington and the Taliban had also agreed that all foreign troops would eventually leave, and that Afghanistan would never be used as a base for attacks on the United States. Former Afghan President Karzai is one such figure who has transformed into a United States critic in recent years and has pushed for more Russian influence in Afghan politics.

"There is no need to reinterpret Afghan women's lives", the statement said.

"The interim government will help find a way for a transparent election", he was quoted as saying, referring to July general elections.

"But after ending their military presence, their non-military teams can come and. take part in the reconstruction and development process".

The extraordinary gathering in Moscow was the Taliban's most significant with Afghan politicians in years, and concluded with both sides agreeing to future talks and ensuring a "durable and dignified peace" for the people of Afghanistan.

The intra-Afghan conference in Moscow was held on February 5-6. "Those who can not learn from history are doomed to repeat it", he wrote. "They are fighting against the government and state, so it is the government who they should talk with", added January.

After two years of intensified attacks by the Taliban on the Afghan government, military and foreign forces, they now control or contest almost half of the districts across Afghanistan.

"Rest assured that no one can push us aside", he said. He did not mention the Afghans who have died (24,000 civilians since 2009, and 45,000 members of the security forces in the last five years), let alone the nation's broader suffering in the world's deadliest conflict.

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