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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid