Taliban hold rare talks with Afghan politicians
February 05 2019 11:56 PM
Afghan former President Hamid Karzai and Head of Political Office of the Taliban Sher Mohammad Abbas
Afghan former President Hamid Karzai and Head of Political Office of the Taliban Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai head for a conference arranged by the Afghan diaspora, in Moscow

The Taliban began an extraordinary meeting with high-ranking Afghan politicians - including women - Tuesday in Moscow, where rivals of President Ashraf Ghani called for an interim government as they negotiated without him.
The unprecedented gathering saw the Taliban outline their vision for Afghanistan - including rules around women and the adoption of an Islamic constitution - before heavyweights, including former president Hamid Karzai, in televised talks.
The roundtable, which saw women defend their rights, comes a week after the insurgents held talks with US negotiators about ending the 17-year war.
The meeting in Russia is "nothing more than a fantasy. No one can decide without the consent of the Afghan people," Ghani told Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews late Tuesday.
"Those who have gathered in Moscow have no executive authority. They can say what they want."
But many of his chief opponents - including some contesting presidential elections in July - were present in the Russian capital, and some called for the formation of an interim government to include the Taliban.
"The interim government should also pave the way for a transparent election," Atta Mohamd Noor, an influential former warlord, said on Twitter.
It could act as a transition "through this fragile and messy situation" and convince the insurgents to take part in the political process, he added.

Last updated: February 05 2019 11:59 PM


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