Ashraf Ghani invites Taliban to join peace talks

Kabul: Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani has again invited the Taliban to peace talks, calling it their "last chance" to give up their 16-year insurgency and join the political process.

Ashraf Ghani spoke at the opening of the so-called Kabul Process, a gathering of 23 nations, the European Union, United Nations and NATO intended to discuss security and political issues in the country.

"If Taliban wants to join peace talks, the Afghan government will allow them to open an office, but this is their last chance," Ghani said.

The Taliban has steadily expanded its reach since United States and NATO forces formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014 and transitioned to a support and counterterrorism role.

Past attempts at peace talks have failed. The Taliban has refused to negotiate with the government until all foreign forces leave, and still refer to themselves as a government in exile, angering authorities in Kabul.

There have been multiple attempts to launch peace talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban, but all have faltered. The most recent initiative, brokered by Pakistan, collapsed and spawned even more public distrust and animosity between Kabul and Islamabad.


Updated Date: Jun 06, 2017 13:19 PM

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