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Afghan Taliban Reiterate Demands for Peace Talks With US

FILE - Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, center, speaks during a one-day meeting with Pakistan, U.S. and Chinese delegations in Kabul, Jan. 18, 2016. The talks are aimed at ending the country's 15 years of war with the Taliban.

A spokesman for the Afghan Taliban says the group is ready for peace talks with the United States, if their demands are met.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said earlier this week that their two conditions for peace talks are the removal of the group leader's name from the U.N. blacklist and the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan.

However, the Afghan government rejected the group's demands - an indication of the depth of the rift between the two sides in Afghanistan's protracted conflict.

Haroon Chakhansuri, spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, said only the Afghan government has the authority to request listing or de-listing Afghan citizens from the U.N. sanctions lists, including members of the Taliban.