Afghan officials detain alleged Taliban advisor from Germany

Pauline Gross
March 2, 2018

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomes the Afghan Governments renewed call for unconditional peace talks with the Taliban and the outlining of a framework for peace, presented at the Kabul Process II conference in the Afghan capital today, said a UNAMA press release.

It is a part of a political system that aims to end 16 years of war.

Participants in the one-day conference in Kabul issued a statement at the end that called on the Taliban to join the Afghan-led peace effort, "cease violence immediately", and "pursue their goals through direct talks" with the Kabul government.

However, Taliban fighters control large parts of the country, the Kabul government itself is deeply divided and thousands of Afghan soldiers and civilians are being killed every year.

"A ceasefire should be held, the Taliban should be recognised as a political party and trust-building process should be initiated", said Ghani , in remarks similar to past offers.

Ghani on Wednesday also said that Kabul is ready for talks with Pakistan and wants to forget the past and start a new chapter.

There is a growing global pressure on Taliban.

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While the U.S. military says the strategy has hit the Taliban hard, the group still controls or contests much of the country and continues to inflict severe casualties on Afghan forces.

"Russia appears to have stepped up engagement with the Taliban, adopting the stance that the Taliban is preferable to other violent extremist groups in the region", said Emily Winterbotham, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London.

"We need to have good relations with the Russia", Karzai said on February 19 at his heavily-guarded house next to the presidential palace in the capital, Kabul, where he continues to regularly meet Afghan lawmakers and foreign diplomats.

Foreigners do fight alongside the Taliban but citizens of Western nations are rare and most hail from Pakistan, Central Asia or Arab nations.

"Not just the Taliban, but the Afghan government and its global counterparts, and I think it is a flawless time not for a peace deal to be struck at this stage but probably a temporary ceasefire, which can then pave the path of a sustainable peace in the long term", he said. "We should see cooperation in Afghanistan between big powers and that's what I am trying to do". Afghanistan has accused Pakistan of aiding the Taliban; Pakistan has denied the claim.

"There are some people among the Taliban who believe that they will have to negotiate with the Afghan government", said Yusufzai.

Much of opium-rich Helmand in Afghanistan's south remains controlled or contested by the Taliban who are heavily reliant on the proceeds of drug trafficking to fuel their insurgency.

Other reports by GizPress

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