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Taliban leader says govt. striving to prevent agreement between them and Afghan politicians

AT News Report

KABUL: In his annual message on Saturday ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr holiday, Taliban’s leader Mullah HaibatullahAkhundzadahas called on the Afghan masses that the group wanted an end to decades of conflict, and said the group is all ready for talks but they expect “Honesty” from the United States.

He also said that the Afghan government is making all-out efforts to prevent peace agreement to be reached between the group and the Afghan opposition.

He said the Taliban has continued to create a consensus among neighboring and regional countries in its favor and their participation in Moscow conference, where representatives of 12 countries attended, is an example of this “success”, TOLONews reported

According to source, Akhundzada called for unity and harmony among Afghans to “end the occupation and strengthen an Islamic system”.

He said “the Islamic emirate is not seeking to monopolize power but it wants all Afghans to have their real role in ‘government’”.

Taliban leader called on the United States to “honestly” engage in the ongoing peace talks and accept “the Islamic emirate’s reasonable plan” to move the process forward.

But he gave no sign the Taliban would repeat last year’s truce over the three-day Eid holiday, which led to unprecedented scenes of Taliban fighters and government soldiers mingling and even embracing in the streets of Kabul.

To find a political settlement, US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation ZalmayKhalilzad and Taliban negotiation members held sixth rounds of talks in Doha, where they made slow but steady progress on key issues under debate. However, Khalilzad highlighted the need for more talks with the Taliban.

According to US officials, the key issues discussed between the US and the Taliban in Doha were foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan, counterterrorism assurances, ceasefire, and direct talks with the Afghan government. 

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