Taliban Call for Direct Dialogue with US

The Taliban insurgents have called for direct talks with the United States in an announced effort to find a “peaceful solution” to the long-running war in Afghanistan nearly a month after waging a wave of bloody attacks in the capital Kabul and elsewhere.

The Taliban “asked US officials to speak directly with the Political Office” of the group, read a statement issued by the Taliban on Monday (27.2.20) night, apparently referring to an office in the Qatari capital.

The statement came a day before the second regional peace conference in Kabul, where representatives from 25 countries discussed counter-terrorism and conflict resolution strategies.

There was no immediate reaction from the US side.

Earlier this month, the Taliban released an open letter to “the American people” and the US Congress, showing that they are ready for talks.

In an open letter to the “American people”, the Taliban say they are willing to enter a “peaceful dialogue” to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.

US President Donald Trump said in August that the US military presence in Afghanistan would be opened, as Washington intensified air strikes against jihadist headquarters held in Afghanistan.

Last month, Trump ruled out talks with the Taliban, after a spate of attacks by jihadists in Kabul.

The attacks included a massive attack on the luxury Intercontinental Hotel capital, an ambulance bomb on a crowded street, and an attack on a military compound, which killed more than 130 people.

The Afghan capital is scheduled to host the Kabul process on Wednesday, focusing on continuing “peace talks” and unifying regional countries in what was declared a battle against terrorism.

“At the Kabul conference, we will present a comprehensive peace plan for the Taliban and Pakistan,” Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Tuesday.

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