Afghanistan Taliban stress preconditions for peace talks

Written by | January 24, 2016 | 0

Kabul: The Afghan Taliban today reiterated their pre-conditions for the resumption of peace talks with Kabul, including their removal from international terror blacklists, at an informal meeting with lawmakers and activists in Doha.

Members of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar launched two days of discussion with an Afghan delegation yesterday as momentum grows for the start of a formal peace process. The militant group emphasised its hardline stance on talks aimed at ending their 14-year insurgency, ruling out negotiations until their preconditions were met.

“Before any official talks, we want names of our mujahideen to be removed from UN and US blacklists and all bounties on their heads be cancelled,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said, listing the group’s demands at the Qatar conference. “We also want our political office in Doha to be officially re-opened.” The Taliban opened an office in Qatar in June 2013 as a first move towards a possible peace deal. But it shut a month later after enraging then Afghan president Hamid Karzai by styling itself as the unofficial embassy for a government-in- exile.

At least 25 other people were wounded in the bombing near the Russian embassy in downtown Kabul, in the first direct assault on an Afghan media organisation since the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001.

Filed in: Islamic World

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