Taliban say occupation must end for Afghan peace as delegates meet in Moscow

MOSCOW: A Taliban delegation met a gaggle of senior Afghan politicians in Moscow on Tuesday, insisting that worldwide forces should go away Afghanistan for peace to be agreed, amid gathering diplomatic efforts to finish the 18-year conflict.

The delegation, led by chief Taliban negotiator Mullah Baradar Akhund, met politicians, together with senior regional leaders and candidates difficult President Ashraf Ghani on this yr’s presidential election.

“The Islamic Emirate desires peace however step one is to take away obstacles to peace and finish the occupation of Afghanistan,” Baradar stated, showing brazenly on tv in what gave the impression to be a calculated transfer to determine his legitimacy as one of many important public faces of the Taliban.

The Taliban, ousted by US-backed forces weeks after September 11, 2001, assaults on the USA, seek advice from themselves because the Islamic Emirate.

Mohammad Karim Khalili, head of the Excessive Peace Council, the principle physique charged with pursuing peace efforts, stated dozens of individuals had been being killed in preventing day by day and it was time for a “dignified and simply mechanism” to finish the bloodshed.

Taliban officers have been speaking to US diplomats for months in regards to the phrases of withdrawal of greater than 23,000 US and NATO coalition troops from Afghanistan and have reached a draft settlement on some points however no new date for the subsequent spherical of talks has been set and lots of obstacles stay.

Chief amongst these is the Taliban refusal to deal instantly with President Ashraf Ghani’s Western-backed authorities in Kabul, which they dismiss as a “puppet” regime.

Conferences between the Taliban delegation and political figures not formally related to the federal government have been seen as a approach of making ready the way in which for full negotiations later. However these contacts are regarded with deep suspicion by many Afghan officers who see them as undermining the legitimacy of the federal government whereas reinforcing the place of the Taliban.

The group of politicians attending the ceremony to mark the centenary of the institution of diplomatic relations between Afghanistan and Russia included lots of Ghani’s strongest political adversaries.

Atta Mohammad Noor, the previous governor of the northern province of Balkh and a pacesetter of the primarily ethnic Tajik Jamiat-e Islami occasion, stated it was within the pursuits of all sides to determine a very good understanding.

“We wish to have good relations with the Taliban and we anticipate peace from them,” he stated.

Nonetheless, the presidential election in September is predicted to place Afghanistan’s political system underneath heavy pressure following bitterly disputed parliamentary elections final yr that drew widespread accusations of dishonest.

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