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Taliban Lays Fresh Preconditions to Resume Peace Talks

AT News

KABUL: Taliban reiterated demand of release of their comrades held in Afghan government custody as precondition to restart peace talks with Afghan delegation. This time the militants have added another condition too, which they want the names of their leaders removed from the US and UN sanction list.

The report comes after Afghan negotiators said the insurgents’ team refused to hold talks in Qatar for more than one week.

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai who is visiting Moscow, said Saturday at a news conference that their conditions would facilitate the peace efforts.

The militants meanwhile say of their adherence to the peace deal they signed last February with the United States, arguing that the al-Qaeda terrorist group was not active in the areas controlled by them.

This comment is in reaction to the the US officials’ statement who accused the Taliban of not doing enough to show their commitments to the peace deal. The Pentagon said this week that Taliban did not reduce violence and are still keeping ties with al-Qaeda.

“We are still trying to reach an agreement, Taliban have not fulfilled their promises,” said John Kirby, Spokesman for the US Department of State.

He claimed that the new government in the US sticks to the Taliban deal.
According to the deal, the United States withdraws all its troops from Afghanistan by May this year.
But Washington has frequently said that their fully withdrawal would depend on Taliban’s commitments.

The US warned that condition for the peace talks would be tough if the situation goes ahead as it is now.
Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State in a phone conversation with President Ghani, said Thursday that they would review the peace deal they signed with Taliban.

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