Resumption of talks with US vital for Afghan peace, say Taliban

Special Resumption of talks with US vital for Afghan peace, say Taliban
In this handout photograph taken and released by the Pakistan Foreign Ministry on October 3, 2019, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (centre R) receives members of the Taliban delegation at the Pakistan Foreign Ministry in Islamabad. (AFP)
Updated 03 October 2019

Resumption of talks with US vital for Afghan peace, say Taliban

Resumption of talks with US vital for Afghan peace, say Taliban
  • Diplomatic sources confirm representatives of Afghan insurgent group also met Prime Minister Khan
  • Taliban spokesman urges all regional countries to “support the Afghan people in the liberation” of their country

ISLAMABAD: The 12-member Afghan Taliban delegation on Thursday agreed that the resumption of peace process with the United States was the only way to end the conflict in Afghanistan following its meetings with senior Pakistani officials in Islamabad, said the foreign office of Pakistan.
Diplomatic sources confirmed to Arab News that representatives of Afghan insurgent group also met Prime Minister Imran Khan during the day.
Pakistan has been playing the role of a facilitator, trying to catalyze the Afghan peace process, since last year.
Led by the Taliban co-founder, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the delegation is expected to meet US special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, this week who arrived in Islamabad ahead of the Taliban Political Commission’s visit.
During a weekly news briefing, the foreign office spokesman, Dr. Mohammad Faisal, said the talks between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban were “highly sensitive and delicate” and the process needed to be “handled in a careful manner.”
He declined to divulge further details of the delegation’s agenda and its scheduled meetings in the country.
The US and Taliban were on the verge of signing an agreement last month, but the process collapsed after the insurgent group killed an American soldier in Afghanistan.
In an exclusive telephonic interview, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Arab News on Thursday: “It is the US side that retracted, and they should come to the agreement and sign the agreement. It is the only peaceful solution to the Afghan issue.”
Shaheen said that all regional countries “should support the Afghan people in the liberation” of their country and “ending the occupation” of their land.
“Based on our policy we would want to have good relations with our neighboring countries, for the stability of Afghanistan. We would want their role in the construction of Afghanistan,” the Taliban spokesman said.