News / Asia

Taliban Ready For Afghan Peace Talks

The Taliban says its political wing is ready to enter peace talks to end the war in Afghanistan, but that it will not give up its armed struggle against international forces.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, said the insurgent group has stepped up its efforts to bring about peace in the troubled nation.  But, in the e-mailed statement, he also reiterated the Taliban's opposition to the current Afghan constitution and referred to the government led by President Hamid Karzai as a "stooge" administration.

U.S. special representative Marc Grossman (File)
U.S. special representative Marc Grossman (File)

The comments come as the U.S. special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman, prepares to lead a delegation to Afghanistan next week in an effort to get approval from President Karzai for the resumption of preliminary talks with the Taliban.

Earlier this month, the Afghan Taliban said it had reached a preliminary agreement to open a political office in the Gulf state of Qatar, in a move that could help facilitate the talks.

Spokesman Mujahid said in a statement that the Taliban is asking for the release of prisoners held at the U.S.-run Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba.

In Washington Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said no decisions have been made about releasing Taliban prisoners.

Clinton said the United States was ready to support an Afghan-led reconciliation process.  But she reiterated that any power-sharing deal would have to involve insurgents renouncing violence, breaking ties with al-Qaida and accepting the Afghan constitution.

The secretary also indicated progress in efforts to open a Taliban political office in Qatar, citing "positive statements" from President Karzai and the Taliban.

In December, Vice President Joe Biden said the Afghan Taliban are not America's enemies, and that the insurgent group did not represent a threat to the United States unless it continued to harbor al-Qaida terrorists.

U.S.-led forces ousted Afghanistan's Taliban government following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.  Those attacks were carried out by al-Qaida, which had training camps in Afghanistan.

The Taliban's statement on peace talks comes as violence continues in Afghanistan.

A suicide car bomber killed five people, including a local district chief, in southern Afghanistan on Thursday.

Provincial officials say the governor of Kandahar province's Panjwayi district, Fazluddin Agha, was traveling in his car with his two sons when the bomber rammed a vehicle full of explosives into them near Kandahar city.  All three were killed, as well as two of the district governor's guards.

Officials say nine police officers and a civilian were wounded.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs