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Taliban offer direct negotiations with US

IANS | Kabul |

Taliban supreme leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada has offered direct negotiations with the US in a bid to end the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.

“If the American officials truly believe in a peaceful end to the Afghan imbroglio then they must directly present themselves to the negotiation table so that this tragedy (invasion) — the destructive effects of which mainly harm the American and Afghan people — can be resolved through talks,” said Akhundzada in a message ahead of Eid.

“The biggest mistake on part of the American officials is that they approach every problem with stubbornness but force cannot yield results in every case,” he was quoted as saying by Khaama Press on Wednesday.

“The only path to rescuing ourselves from all these calamities is for all American and other occupying forces to leave our country and for an independent, Islamic, intra-Afghan government to take root.

“… We have kept the doors of understanding and negotiations open to reach this objective and appointed the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate as the exclusive avenue of activity in this regard,” Akhundzada added.

This comes as efforts are underway to start negotiations for reconciliation, led and owned by the Afghans.

However, the Taliban has so far refrained to participate in any form of Afghan-led and owned negotiations although President Ghani earlier made bold proposals to encourage the group for the talks.