Taliban Leader Expects ‘Honesty’ From US

Taliban’s leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada in an Eid message on Saturday stressed on his previous stance about an end to the presence of the US military in Afghanistan and said the group is open for talks but they expect “honesty” from the United States. 

He said the Taliban has continued to create a consensus among neighboring and regional countries in its favor and their participation in Moscow conference, where representatives of 12 countries attended, is an example of this “success”.

Akhundzada called for unity and harmony among Afghans to “end the occupation and strengthen an Islamic system”.

He said “the Islamic emirate is not seeking to monopolize power but it wants all Afghans to have their real role in ‘government’”.

Taliban leader called on the United States to “honestly” engage in the ongoing peace talks and accept “the Islamic emirate’s reasonable plan” to move the process forward.

The two sides have held six rounds of talks – three of them in Doha. In the last round of talks in April, the two sides made slow but steady progress on key issues under debate.

According to US officials, the key issues discussed between the US and the Taliban in Doha were foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan, counterterrorism assurances, ceasefire, and direct talks with the Afghan government.

In a similar Eid message last year in June, Taliban leader said the group has “kept the doors of understanding and negotiations open” and “appointed the Political Office of the Islamic emirate as the exclusive avenue of activity in this regard”.

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