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