Sep 18, 2019 17:01 UTC
  • Taliban: Doors are open to resuming talks with US

The Taliban says its “doors are open” to resuming talks with the United States following the collapse of negotiations between Washington and the Afghan militant group earlier this month.

“From our side, our doors are open for negotiations,” Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the chief Taliban negotiator, said on Wednesday.

He insisted that negotiation remained “the only way for peace in Afghanistan.”

Stanikzai also defended the Taliban’s role in recent fighting across Afghanistan after US President Donald Trump cited an attack that killed an American soldier as his reason for calling off the negotiations earlier this month.

He argued that the Americans had also admitted to killing thousands of Taliban militants during the talks.

Under a draft accord that the two sides had agreed to before the talks were ceased, thousands of US troops would have been pulled out over the next few months in exchange for Taliban guarantees.

In a separate development on Wednesday, a bomber and gunmen wounded at least nine people, including a woman and a child, in an attack on a government building in eastern Afghanistan.

The attackers detonated explosives before gunmen poured into the building in the city of Jalalabad.

The office is a distribution center for national identity cards, which people need to vote in the upcoming presidential election in 10 days.

“Afghan security forces surrounded the building and are clashing with the attackers in a bid to counter the attack,” said Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the Nangarhar provincial council.