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Iran Press TV

Taliban calls for direct talks with US

Iran Press TV

Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:19AM

The Taliban terrorist group has called for direct talks with the United States in a declared bid to find a "peaceful solution" for the long-running war in Afghanistan, nearly a month after it waged a wave of bloody terror attacks in the capital, Kabul, and elsewhere.

The Taliban "calls on American officials to talk directly to the Political Office" of the group, read a statement released by the Taliban late on Monday, apparently referring to an alleged office in the Qatari capital.

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

The seeming openness to talks by the Taliban is unusual for the terrorist group, which has repeatedly declared that it will not enter talks until the US-led foreign troops leave the country.

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, suggesting that it was prepared for talks.

US President Donald Trump said last August that the American military presence in Afghanistan would be open-ended, as Washington intensified aerial strikes on alleged militant strongholds in Afghanistan.

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

The attacks included a massive assault on the capital's luxury Intercontinental Hotel, an ambulance bombing in a crowded street, and a raid on a military compound, that killed more than 130 people in total.

The Afghan capital is due to host the Kabul process on Wednesday, focusing on resuming "peace talks" and uniting regional countries in what is being billed as the battle against terrorism.

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

The Daesh terrorist group is also present in Afghanistan.

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