Taliban says progress made at Afghan talks in Moscow but no breakthrough

Reuters Moscow, Russia May 30, 2019, 04.12 PM(IST) May 30, 2019, 04.22 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

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The delegation, led by chief Taliban negotiator Mullah Baradar Akhund, met politicians, including senior regional leaders and candidates challenging President Ashraf Ghani in this year`s presidential election.

 A Taliban official said on Thursday that decent progress had been made at talks with a group of senior Afghan politicians in Moscow but that there had been no breakthrough and that further talks would be needed, Russian news agencies reported.

The delegation, led by chief Taliban negotiator Mullah Baradar Akhund, met politicians, including senior regional leaders and candidates challenging President Ashraf Ghani in this year`s presidential election amid gathering diplomatic efforts to end the 18-year war.

The delegation that met a group of senior Afghan politicians in Moscow on Tuesday, insisted that international forces must leave Afghanistan for peace to be agreed.

The Taliban, ousted by US-backed forces weeks after September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate.

Mohammad Karim Khalili, head of the High Peace Council, the main body charged with pursuing peace efforts, said dozens of people were being killed in fighting every day and it was time for a "dignified and just mechanism" to end the bloodshed.

Taliban officials have been talking to US diplomats for months about the terms of withdrawal of more than 23,000 US and NATO coalition troops from Afghanistan and have reached a draft agreement on some issues but no new date for the next round of talks has been set and many obstacles remain.

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