US urges Taliban to return from foreign safe havens, participate in electoral process in Afghanistan

Washington: The US urged the Taliban to return to Afghanistan from their foreign safe havens, saying there was no justification for its announcement of annual spring offensive.

Representational image. Courtesy: News18

Representational image. Courtesy: News18

It said that there was no need for a new fighting season, and that it was time for the Taliban to participate in the country's electoral process.

"As President Ghani said recently, the Taliban should turn their bullets and bombs into ballots. They should run for office. They should vote. We encourage Taliban leaders to return to Afghanistan from their foreign safe havens and work constructively for Afghanistan's future. More violence will not bring peace and security to Afghanistan," acting secretary of state John Sullivan said.

It came a day after the Taliban announced the commencement of the spring offensive in the war-ravaged country.

Sullivan said Ghani had recently extended an "historic invitation" to the Taliban to join the peace process. "There is no need for a new fighting season. Still, the Taliban announced another campaign of senseless violence targeting the democratically elected and internationally recognised Afghan government and their fellow Afghans," he said.

Sullivan said the US stands with the Afghan people in response to the Taliban's announcement. "We support the brave Afghan security forces who are standing against the Taliban and terrorist groups that seek to destroy Afghan society. We commend the Afghan people, who are carrying on their lives, raising families, attending universities, building businesses, preparing for elections, and strengthening their communities despite violence and continued bloodshed," he said.

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Updated Date: Apr 26, 2018 07:56:18 IST

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