Afghan peace board bats for talks with Taliban
Kabul : The government-backed Afghanistan Peace Consultative Board (APCB) has advocated for talks between the government and the Taliban, a statement of the Presidential Palace said.
An Afghan government negotiating team led by Abdul Salam Rahimi has arrived in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to initiate talks with the Taliban, Xinhau quoted other media.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Majahid, however, has rejected holding any talks. The statement comes amid intensifying efforts by its neighbours support the Afghan-led peace process, Xinhua news agency reported.
Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has already made it clear that the government is the only authorised institution to negotiate for a peace deal with the Taliban, Xinhua news agency reported.
A trilateral meeting among Afghanistan, Pakistan and China held in Kabul on December 15 agreed to enhance trilateral efforts to bring about peace in Afghanistan and fight against terrorism in the region.
An US delegation, too, held a meeting with the Taliban representatives in the UAE on Monday, according to media reports and Taliban sources.
Taliban militants, in the talks, discussed swap of prisoners, withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and formation of an interim government.
The APCB has told President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani that holding meetings with the Taliban could help find negotiated settlement to the country's prolonged conflict, the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Afghan Air Force has killed eight Taliban militants in Helmand province, an army statement on Tuesday said.