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Afghan Taliban calls for direct talks with US

The Afghan Taliban has called for direct talks with the United States and recognition of its political office in Qatar, as part of a series of proposals put forward this to work towards a political solution.
Voice of America reported Qatar-based Taliban spokesman, Sohail Shaheen, as stating “there is need for America and its allies to come to the table for direct talks with the Islamic Emirate (the Taliban) for negotiating an end to the occupation”.
He went on to add that official recognition of the Taliban office in Qatar and the removal of senior Taliban members from a UN black list were among the other steps that needed to be taken.
“These obstacles in the way of establishing peace cannot be simply ignored,” he added.
A US State Department statement Friday in response said “the only way to end the conflict in Afghanistan is through a peace and reconciliation process with the Taliban”.
“We are ready to accept any political resolution of the conflict between the Afghan government and the Taliban so long as the outcome of any process ensures that the Taliban cease violence, break associations with international terrorism, and accept Afghanistan's constitution, including its protections for women and minorities," the statement continued.
See more from VoA here.