Tal­iban say no to Afghan prez of­fer to set up of­fice in Kabul

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES GLOBAL -

Kabul: Afghan Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani on Sun­day of­fered the Tal­iban the pos­si­bil­ity of open­ing an of­fice in Afghanistan but the pro­posal was swiftly spurned by the group that is de­ter­mined to keep his gov­ern­ment out of ac­cel­er­at­ing peace talks.

Ghani has ex­pressed alarm at the Tal­iban shut­ting his ad­min­is­tra­tion out of ne­go­ti­a­tions with the US as well as re­cent Moscow talks with Afghan op­po­si­tion politi­cians, and re­peated ear­lier of­fers to give the group a se­cure of­fi­cial ad­dress to aid any fu­ture diplo­macy be­tween the two sides.

“If the Tal­iban want an of­fice, I will give it to them in Kabul, Nan­garhar or Kan­da­har by to­mor­row,” Ghani said while vis­it­ing the prov­ince of Nan­garhar. “We will bring a last­ing and hon­ourable peace to the coun­try,” he said.

Tal­iban of­fi­cials in Moscow last week stressed the im­por­tance of a for­mal of­fice among a string of de­mands that in­cluded the re­moval of Western sanc­tions and travel bans on Tal­iban mem­bers, prisoner re­leases and an end to “pro­pa­ganda” against the group. Tal­iban spokesman So­hail Shahin said that the fo­cus was in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion of their ex­ist­ing site in Doha, Qatar.

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