Afghan govt, Taliban conform to step up peace talks after Moscow summit

MOSCOW, March 19

The Afghan government and the Taliban agreed on Friday to try to accelerate peace talks, at a meeting in Moscow that followed an international conference there on the peace process, a senior Afghan official was quoted as saying.

The US, Russia, China and Pakistan called on Afghanistan’s warring sides to reach an immediate ceasefire at the conference, held in Russia just six weeks before a deadline agreed last year to withdraw the US troops. “We expressed our readiness to accelerate

the process,” Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, said. “They (the Taliban) did as well.” Abdullah said the sides had not discussed any specific issues. — Reuters

Expect troops withdrawal: Taliban

  • The Taliban warned Washington against defying the May 1 deadline for the withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan, promising a “reaction”, which could mean increased attacks.
  • “They should go,” Suhail Shaheen, a member of the Taliban negotiation team, said. AP

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