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UN Afghan Envoy Urges Taliban to Join Peace Process

  • VOA News

UN envoy to Afghanistan Jan Kubis at news conference in Kabul, March 27, 2013.

UN envoy to Afghanistan Jan Kubis at news conference in Kabul, March 27, 2013.

The United Nations envoy to Afghanistan is calling on the Taliban to take part in peace talks, as most NATO combat troops mobilize to leave the country by the end of 2014.

Speaking at a news conference in Kabul Wednesday, Jan Kubis told the insurgents to take into account that there will not be an international fighting force at the end of next year in Afghanistan.

He urged them to take the necessary measures to contribute to their country's long-term peace.

Although Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been championing a move to have the Taliban open an office for peace negotiations in Qatar, overtures for peace by the international community and Afghan government have largely failed.

The Taliban refuse to hold direct talks with the Karzai administration, calling it a "puppet regime" of the international coalition.

Meanwhile, Afghan authorities in eastern Logar province say joint military operations with NATO killed at least 23 Taliban militants and wounded 26 others.

The two-day military operation in the village of Sajwan ended late Tuesday. Several residents said their homes were destroyed in the fighting.

Police officials say authorities captured more than 40 militants. Other local officials say five civilians died in the operation.

The Taliban confirmed the deaths of only 12 Taliban fighters.