Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Taliban says talks with Afghan politicians 'very successful'

Taliban says talks with Afghan politicians 'very successful'

This comes after a senior Taliban member and deputy head of their Qatar office said on Monday, after the first day's session, that the group would talk to the Afghan government once a timeline was set for the complete withdrawal of United States forces from Afghanistan.

Ghani's allies in Washington insist Afghans should lead the peace process, and ostensibly the months-long push by the USA to engage the Taliban has been aimed at convincing them to negotiate with the government in Kabul.

Instead, the Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan under a ruthless interpretation of Sharia law between 1996 and 2001, sat down for talks with Ghani's rivals including Mohammad Haneef Atmar as the country prepares to hold presidential elections in July.

The statement said National Security Advisor HamdullahMohib, who attended the meeting, said foreign countries' envoys could play a crucial role in strengthening their countries' relations with Afghanistan.

It was hard to find any influential critic of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul on Tuesday - not because he has become popular among his opponents overnight, but because nearly all government critics are in Moscow to meet with Taliban representatives.

Russian Federation is seeking to play a bigger role as peace broker in Afghanistan, ensuring that any post-peace Afghan government includes people close to the Kremlin.

Ayubi says 12 troops were also wounded and that the Taliban onslaught at the base on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Kunduz city, lasted for over two hours. They admitted Afghan forces suffered casualties but would not reveal any figures. She said: "They (the Taliban) came up with a 13 article position about women's rights".

"Rest assured that no one can push us aside", he said.

He said the objections by President Ghani would not yield results, emphasizing that President Ghani said should join the talks with dignity and brotherhood.

President Ashraf Ghani has insisted on leadership and ownership of the peace process by Afghans who he said wanted "a dignified and stable peace" in their country.

At talks last month, the Taliban agreed with the US on the withdrawal of "all foreign troops from Afghanistan" and "that the soil of Afghanistan would not be used against them", said Stanikzai.

The Taliban are scheduled to hold a separate, second round of peace talks with the USA in Doha on February 25.

The Moscow meet comes a week after the Taliban held separate talks toward ending 17 years of fighting with American negotiators in Doha, where Ghani was again not invited to the table. A more involved role for Moscow has surprised many, mostly due to Russia's bloody history in Afghanistan (when it was the Soviet Union) during its occupation of the country from 1979 to 1989.

The Afghan government fears that after the possible departure of the foreign military the Taliban won't have reasons to take part in the peace talks.

He said his administration was holding constructive talks with a number of groups, including Taliban militants.

Taliban's chief negotiator said they do not intend to monopolize power after an end to foreign invasion but want to establish an Afghan inclusive Islamic system with the consent of all Afghans.

Ghani spoke with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo late on Tuesday, who had "underscored the central importance of ensuring the centrality of the Afghan government in the peace process", the president said.

Asked about Trump's speech, a Taliban official in Moscow told Reuters that all foreign troops in Afghanistan must leave.

The Taliban, responding to Trump's speech, rejected any suggestion of a lingering USA focus on counter-terrorism after troops are drawn down, reiterating their long-held demand that all foreign troops get out.

"If you guys can eat together, laugh and pray together, hug each other why you are still killing innocent Afghans?" one Facebook user posted.

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