Pierre Mayaudon, the European Union (EU) Head of Delegation to Afghanistan on Sunday called on the Taliban to take advantage of the peace opportunity and enter into dialogue with the Afghan government to end the ongoing bloodbath in the country.
This comes on the eve of the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan initiative to hold a peace conference titled “Afghanistan – path to a peaceful future” in the Uzbek capital Tashkent on Monday.
Meanwhile, officials from Afghanistan High Peace Council (HPC) have said that the two day Tashkent peace conference will be attended by high ranking officials from regional and ultra-regional countries where they will press the Taliban and their backers to join the peace process, Kabul based TOLO News reported.
“More pressure is expected to be mounted on the Taliban at this conference so that the group enters into dialogue. Afghan-owned peace process will be getting more support at the conference,” HPC spokesman Sayed Ehsan Tahiri said.
Earlier the Taliban had said in a statement that the group made it clear to the US in its recent letter that “war is not our choice, rather it has been imposed upon us. For ending the occupation, we want a peaceful resolution to the Afghan issue.”
The statement noted that “it must now be established by America and her allies that the Afghan issue cannot be solved militarily.
“America must henceforth focus on a peaceful strategy for Afghanistan instead of war. Military strategies which have repeatedly been tested in Afghanistan over the past seventeen years will only intensify and prolong the war. And this is not in the interest of anyone.”
In January, after a wave of bombings which rocked Afghanistan lately, US President Donald Trump had ruled out any form of talks with the Afghan Taliban.
“Innocent people are being killed left and right” by the Taliban, he told the members of the UN Security Council at a White House lunch on Monday. “Bombing in the middle of children, in the middle of families — bombing, killing all over Afghanistan.”
“So there’s no talking to the Taliban,” he said. “We do not want to talk to the Taliban.”
“We’re going to finish what we have to finish,” he said while adding, “What nobody else has been able to finish, we’re going to be able to do it.”
In August, 2017, The Taliban called on President Donald Trump on Tuesday to review the strategy for the war in Afghanistan and to hold peaceful dialogue directly with Afghans instead of engaging “corrupt” politicians.
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The Taliban, alternatively spelled Taleban, which refers to itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is a ‘Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement’ in Afghanistan currently waging war (an insurgency, or jihad) within that country.
Until his death in 2013, Mullah Mohammed Omar was the supreme commander and spiritual leader of the Taliban. Mullah Akhtar Mansour was elected as his replacement in 2015, and following Mansour’s killing in a May 2016 U.S. drone strike, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada became the group’s leader.
The Taliban negotiated and ‘asked’ Trump to study the “historical mistakes” of his predecessors and to withdraw troops from Afghanistan completely.