German citizen arrested alongside Taliban in Afghanistan

German citizen arrested alongside Taliban in Afghanistan

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani yesterday called on the Taleban to take part in peace talks to "save the country", offering security and incentives such as passports to insurgents who join the negotiations.

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan on Wednesday welcomed the Afghan Governments renewed call for unconditional peace talks with the Taliban and expressed strong support for its vision for peace. The first Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation Conference was held in June of past year.

The UN endorsed Ghani's comments, however, and there is a suggestion that other Western countries are open to the idea of a peace process.

"The Taliban are expected to give input to the peace-making process, the goal of which is to draw the Taliban, as an organization, to peace talks", he said, adding that he would not "pre-judge" any group seeking peace.

He also called on the Taliban to come to the negotiation table."Only through political settlement can we achieve enduring peace, and I call upon all ranks of Taliban to engage in an intra-Afghan dialogue", Ghani said.

He said the momentum for peace was building from neighbouring countries that increasingly saw the necessity of a stable Afghanistan.

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However, Taliban fighters control large parts of the country, the Kabul government itself is deeply divided and thousands of Afghan soldiers and civilians are being killed every year.

"Ultimately, we don't see there is a military solution to the situation in Afghanistan".

Just hours after Ghani's proposal, the Taliban was accused of kidnapping 19 people, including five police officers, in the province of Kandahar, the region's police spokesperson Zia Durani told CNN. "But I think that's incorrect", said Kiriakou, a Central Intelligence Agency veteran who was once stationed in Afghanistan's eastern neighbor of Pakistan. The group did not immediately claim responsibility for the abduction.

"The timing is important. the Taliban might reject the offer, as they have done in the past, but at least it seems the peace process (which) stopped for a while may get back on track", he told AFP.

Worldwide forces fighting in the country have spoken in the past of hearing European accents on intercepted Taliban radio transmissions, and in 2009 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces reportedly killed an unidentified insurgent with a tattoo of English football team Aston Villa.

"We need to have good relations with the Russia", Karzai said on February 19 at his heavily-guarded house next to the presidential palace in the capital, Kabul, where he continues to regularly meet Afghan lawmakers and foreign diplomats. "They derive their power from their ability to keep fighting", he said.

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