Afghan Taliban Calls on US to Start Direct Talks

Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan.

Ankara, MINA – The Afghan Taliban on Monday calls on the U.S. to start a direct dialogue towards for “a peaceful solution.”

In a written statement, the Taliban cited remarks by Alice Wells, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asia, regarding “keeping the doors of dialogue open for the Taliban.”

“The Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan [Taliban] calls on American officials to talk directly to the Political Office of Islamic Emirate regarding a peaceful solution to the Afghan quandary,” the statement said.

The Taliban also urged the U.S. to accept “the legitimate demands of the Afghan people and forward its own concerns and requests for discussion to the Islamic Emirate through a peaceful channel.”

The Taliban also claimed the war in Afghanistan was not their choice but an imposition.

“To end the occupation, we want a peaceful resolution to the Afghan issue.”

Addressing the U.S. and its allies, the Taliban underlined that “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 17 years will only intensify and prolong the war. And this is not in the interest of anyone,” the statement said.

Last month a Taliban suicide car bombing at the entrance of the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabul killed 103 people and injured more than 230 others.

Calling the attack “Afghanistan’s 9/11,” Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani told a Feb. 15 press conference that the doors for talks with the Taliban were closed indefinitely, and those bent upon terrorism would be eliminated. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)